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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1997 Jun;23(3):873-89.

Lexical neighborhood effects in phonetic processing.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Park Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo 14260, USA. rochelle@art.fss.buffalo.edu


Previous research on spoken word recognition has demonstrated that identification of a phonetic segment is affected by the lexical status of the item in which the segment occurs. W. F. Ganong (1980) demonstrated that a category boundary shift occurs when the voiced end of 1 voice-onset time continuum is a word but the voiceless end of another series is a word; this is known as the "lexical effect." A series of studies was undertaken to examine how lexical neighborhood; in contrast to lexical status, might influence word perception. Pairs of nonword series were created in which the voiced end of 1 series had a higher frequency-weighted neighborhood density, whereas the reverse was true for the other series. Lexical neighborhood was found to affect word recognition in much the same way as lexical status.

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