A stretch of speech is often consistent with multiple words, e.g., the sequence /hæm/ is consistent with ‘ham’ but also with the first syllable of ‘hamster’, resulting in temporary ambiguity. However, to what degree does this lexical embedding occur? Analyses on two corpora of spoken Dutch showed that 11.9%–19.5% of polysyllabic word tokens have word-initial embedding, while 4.1%–7.5% of monosyllabic word tokens can appear word-initially embedded. This is much lower than suggested by an analysis of a large dictionary of Dutch. Speech processing thus appears to be simpler than one might expect on the basis of statistics on a dictionary.
Bibliographic reference. Scharenborg, Odette / Okolowski, Stefanie (2009): "Lexical embedding in spoken dutch", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 1879-1882.