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Influence of onset density on spoken-word recognition.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Indiana University Bloomington, USA.


Previous research has suggested that the initial portion of a word activates similar sounding words that compete for recognition. Other research has shown that the number of similar sounding words that are activated influences the speed and accuracy of recognition. Words with few neighbors are processed more quickly and accurately than words with many neighbors. The influences of the number of lexical competitors in the initial part of the word were examined in a shadowing and a lexical-decision task. Target words with few neighbors that share the initial phoneme were responded to more quickly than target words with many neighbors that share the initial phoneme. The implications of onset-density effects for models of spoken-word recognition are discussed.

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