Context effects and the processing of spoken homophones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the role of context effects in the processing of homophones in Chinese and Chinese-English bilingual speech. In Experiment 1, Chinese speakers were presented with successively gated portions of a homophone in a sentence context, and they identified the homophone on the basis of its increasing acoustic information. In Experiment 2, Chinese-English bilinguals were presented with a cross-language homophone in a sentence context, and they named a visual probe that had or did not have phonological overlaps with the homophone. Results indicate that prior sentence context has an early effect on the disambiguation of various homophone meanings, shortly after the acoustic onset of the word, in both monolingual and bilingual situations. The results are accounted for by interactive activation models of lexical processing, in which the recognition of a homophone is a result of the interactions among phonological, lexical, and contextual information at an early stage. Copyright © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-243
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number3-5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998


Li, P., & Yip, M. C. (1998). Context effects and the processing of spoken homophones. Reading and Writing, 10(3-5), 223-243. doi: 10.1023/A:1008091816322


  • Processing Chinese homophones
  • Context effects
  • Gating paradigm
  • Interactive activation models
  • Multiple constraints


Dive into the research topics of 'Context effects and the processing of spoken homophones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.