ISCA Archive Interspeech 2013
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2013

Vocabulary structure and spoken-word recognition: evidence from French reveals the source of embedding asymmetry

Anne Cutler, Laurence Bruggeman

Vocabularies contain hundreds of thousands of words built from only a handful of phonemes, so that inevitably longer words tend to contain shorter ones. In many languages (but not all) such embedded words occur more often word-initially than word-finally, and this asymmetry, if present, has far-reaching consequences for spoken-word recognition. Prior research had ascribed the asymmetry to suffixing or to effects of stress (in particular, final syllables containing the vowel schwa). Analyses of the standard French vocabulary here reveal an effect of suffixing, as predicted by this account, and further analyses of an artificial variety of French reveal that extensive final schwa has an independent and additive effect in promoting the embedding asymmetry.


doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2013-643

Cite as: Cutler, A., Bruggeman, L. (2013) Vocabulary structure and spoken-word recognition: evidence from French reveals the source of embedding asymmetry. Proc. Interspeech 2013, 2812-2816, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2013-643

@inproceedings{cutler13_interspeech,
  author={Anne Cutler and Laurence Bruggeman},
  title={{Vocabulary structure and spoken-word recognition: evidence from French reveals the source of embedding asymmetry}},
  year=2013,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2013},
  pages={2812--2816},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2013-643}
}