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Determinants of wordlikeness: Phonotactics or lexical neighborhoods?

Bailey, Todd M. and Hahn, Ulrike 2001. Determinants of wordlikeness: Phonotactics or lexical neighborhoods? Journal of Memory and Language 44 (4) , pp. 568-591. 10.1006/jmla.2000.2756

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Wordlikeness, the extent to which a sound sequence is typical of words in a language, affects language acquisition, language processing, and verbal short-term memory. Wordlikeness has generally been equated with phonotactic knowledge of the possible or probable sequences of sounds within a language. Alternatively, wordlikeness might be derived directly from the mental lexicon, depending only on similarity to known words. This paper tests these two cognitively different possibilities by comparing measures of phonotactic probability and lexical influence, including a new model of lexical neighborhoods, in their ability to explain empirical wordlikeness judgments. Our data show independent contributions of both phonotactic probability and the lexicon, with relatively greater influence from the lexicon. The influence of a lexical neighbor is found to be an inverted-Ushaped function of its token frequency. However, our results also indicate that current measures are limited in their ability to account for sequence typicality.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: wordlikeness; phonotactics; token frequency; lexical neighborhood; sequence typicality
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0749-596X
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2020 02:30

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