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Syllable structure effects turn out to be word length effects: Comment on Santiago et al. (2000)

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Roelofs,  Ardi
Language Production Group Levelt, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Utterance Encoding, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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roelofs_2002_syllbale.pdf
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Citation

Roelofs, A. (2002). Syllable structure effects turn out to be word length effects: Comment on Santiago et al. (2000). Language and Cognitive Processes, 17(1), 1-13. doi:10.1080/01690960042000139.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-1891-A
Abstract
Santiago, MacKay, Palma, and Rho (2000) report two picture naming experiments examining the role of syllable onset complexity and number of syllables in spoken word production. Experiment 1 showed that naming latencies are longer for words with two syllables (e.g., demon ) than one syllable (e.g., duck ), and longer for words beginning with a consonant cluster (e.g., drill ) than a single consonant (e.g., duck ). Experiment 2 replicated these findings and showed that the complexity of the syllable nucleus and coda has no effect. These results are taken to support MacKay's (1987) Node Structure theory and to refute models such as WEAVER++ (Roelofs, 1997a) that predict effects of word length but not of onset complexity and number of syllables per se. In this comment, I show that a re-analysis of the data of Santiago et al. that takes word length into account leads to the opposite conclusion. The observed effects of onset complexity and number of syllables appear to be length effects, supporting WEAVER++ and contradicting the Node Structure theory.