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CeLM Seminer Series

Asymmetries in phonological representation and processing

Adhiti Lahiri (Oxford University)

The speaker-listener interaction is problematic since pronunciation of words is inevitably variable. No word is ever uttered in an identical fashion even by the same speaker. Models of word recognition vary in their assumptions about how words are represented in the mental lexicon, how much detail is stored, and how the speech signal is mapped on to the lexicon. The Featurally Underspecified Lexicon (FUL) claims that some variability problems can be resolved by assuming that the representation of words is phonologically sparse. Privative underspecified feature representations, which account for a number of asymmetries that are typical and pertinacious in synchronic and diachronic phonological systems, are also responsible for asymmetries in word recognition. These features, extracted from the signal, are then mapped on to the lexical representation using a  three-way matching logic of “match, mismatch, no-mismatch“. The talk will present a phonological sketch of the model along with evidence from a series of psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experiments on German, English, Swedish and Bengali.


8 March 2017
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
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Chancellor’s Building, Room 100
Whiteknights, University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6UR United Kingdom
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