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LINGUIST List 19.2787

Sat Sep 13 2008

Diss: Phonetics/Psycholing: Brewer: 'Phonetic Reflexes of ...'

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        1.    Jordan Brewer, Phonetic Reflexes of Orthographic Characteristics in Lexical Representation

Message 1: Phonetic Reflexes of Orthographic Characteristics in Lexical Representation
Date: 12-Sep-2008
From: Jordan Brewer <jordan.brewerwwu.edu>
Subject: Phonetic Reflexes of Orthographic Characteristics in Lexical Representation
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Institution: University of Arizona
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Jordan Brewer

Dissertation Title: Phonetic Reflexes of Orthographic Characteristics in Lexical Representation

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Dissertation Director:
Michael Hammond
Heidi B. Harley

Dissertation Abstract:

A large domain of linguistic inquiry concerns the nature of words. It is
widely thought that words are stored and represented in our minds in a
structure termed the lexicon, in which every word has a 'lexical
representation'. Researchers conduct experiments and examine intuitions
about words to determine the content and structure of the lexicon. One
interesting component in lexical representation, for literate speakers, is
an orthographic representation for words. It has been traditionally assumed
that while this orthographic information is available and useful in such
tasks as visual word recognition (i.e. reading) or in writing, orthographic
information about words is not necessarily involved in non-visual
linguistic tasks, like auditory word perception, or speech production.

There has been some research however, which has challenged this notion of
the isolation of orthographic information to visual processes. In a seminal
study Seidenberg and Tanenhaus (1979) found an influence of orthography in
an auditory rhyming judgment task. Subjects were faster to judge as rhyming
those pairs which shared an orthographic representation of the rhyme than
those who shared only phonology (i.e. pie-tie vs. rye-tie). Additional
recent research has confirmed these effects of orthography in auditory
perception tasks (Taft & Hambly, 1985; Halle, Chereau, & Sequi, 2000;
Ziegler & Ferrand, 1998). Even more surprisingly, some experiments have
suggested effects of orthography in speech production (Tanenhaus, Finigan &
Seidenberg, 1980; Lupker, 1982; Wheeldon & Monsell, 1992; Damion & Bowers,
2003). These experiments all show facilitated naming latencies for words
which share orthographic characteristics with some prime environment. As
such, these results can all be explained as effects of orthography on
lexical access of words rather than affecting the production process per se.

In contrast, the experiments and analyses described in this dissertation
show an un-ambiguous effect of orthography on speech production.
Orthographic characteristics of word-final sounds, and words themselves are
shown to influence the durations of spoken productions of those sounds, and
whole words. These effects are robust to the mode of lexical access,
whether through experimentally elicited reading aloud of words, or through
the spontaneous generation of words in an modified sociolinguistic
interview format.

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