8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

Kettle Hinders Cat, Shadow Does Not Hinder Shed: Activation of ‘Almost Embedded’ Words in Nonnative Listening

Mirjam Broersma

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands

A Cross-Modal Priming experiment investigated Dutch listeners' perception of English words. Target words were embedded in a carrier word (e.g.,

cat in catalogue) or ‘almost embedded’ in a carrier word except for a mismatch in the perceptually difficult /æ/-/ε/ contrast (e.g., cat in kettle). Previous results showed a bias towards perception of /ε / over /æ/. The present study shows that presentation of carrier words either containing an /æ/ or an /ε/ led to long lasting inhibition of embedded or ‘almost embedded’ words with an /æ/, but not of words with an /ε /. Thus, both catalogue and kettle hindered recognition of cat, whereas neither schedule nor shadow hindered recognition of shed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Broersma, Mirjam (2007): "Kettle hinders cat, shadow does not hinder shed: activation of ‘almost embedded’ words in nonnative listening", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 1893-1896.