7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

September 16-20, 2002
Denver, Colorado, USA

Access to Homophonic Meanings During Spoken Language Comprehension: Effects of Context and Neighborhood Density

Michael C.W. Yip

The Open University of Hong Kong, China

A gating experiment was conducted to examine the effects of context and neighborhood density information in the processing of Chinese homophones during spoken language comprehension. In this experiment, listeners were presented with successively gated portions of a spoken homophone, embedded in a sentence context, and they identified the homophone on the basis of its increasing amount of acoustic information. Results indicate that context has an early effect on the disambiguation of various homophonic meanings, shortly after the acoustic onset of the word. Second, context interacts with frequency of the individual meanings of a homophone during lexical access. Third, the neighborhood density information helps to narrow down the number of candidates of the target homophone along the temporal course of spoken language processing. Finally, the results are interpreted in terms of interactive activation models of lexical processing.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yip, Michael C.W. (2002): "Access to homophonic meanings during spoken language comprehension: effects of context and neighborhood density", In ICSLP-2002, 1665-1668.