12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

When Two Newly-Acquired Words are One: New Words Differing in Stress Alone are not Automatically Represented Differently

Simone Sulpizio (1), James M. McQueen (2)

(1) Università di Trento, Italy
(2) Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Do listeners use lexical stress at an early stage in word learning? Artificial-lexicon studies have shown that listeners can learn new spoken words easily. These studies used non-words differing in consonants and/or vowels, but not differing only in stress. If listeners use stress information in word learning, they should be able to learn new words that differ only in stress (e.g., BInulo-biNUlo). We investigated this issue here. When learning new words, Italian listeners relied on segmental information; they did not take stress information into account. Newly-acquired words differing in stress alone are not automatically represented as different word forms.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sulpizio, Simone / McQueen, James M. (2011): "When two newly-acquired words are one: new words differing in stress alone are not automatically represented differently", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 1385-1388.