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Journal Article

Forbear is a homophone: Lexical prosody does not constrain lexical access

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Cutler, A. (1986). Forbear is a homophone: Lexical prosody does not constrain lexical access. Language and Speech, 29, 201-220.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-347B-D
Because stress can occur in any position within an Eglish word, lexical prosody could serve as a minimal distinguishing feature between pairs of words. However, most pairs of English words with stress pattern opposition also differ vocalically: OBject an obJECT, CONtent and content have different vowels in their first syllables an well as different stress patters. To test whether prosodic information is made use in auditory word recognition independently of segmental phonetic information, it is necessary to examine pairs like FORbear – forBEAR of TRUSty – trusTEE, semantically unrelated words which echbit stress pattern opposition but no segmental difference. In a cross-modal priming task, such words produce the priming effects characteristic of homophones, indicating that lexical prosody is not used in the same was as segmental structure to constrain lexical access.