Interference effects of possible-word constraints (PWC) in Cantonese speech segmentation

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Abstract

As reported in Yip (2004), the Possible-Word Constraint (PWC), a mechanism proposed by Norris, McQueen, Cutler, and Butterfield (1997), could effectively operate in Cantonese speech segmentation. In this study, a word-spotting experiment was conducted to further examine how the mechanism works in segmenting Cantonese speech. In the word-spotting experiment, listeners were asked to spot out the target Cantonese word from a series of nonsense sound strings. In general, results suggested that listeners found it more difficult to spot out the target Cantonese word [pɔ:k³si:⁶] from the nonsense sound strings, which attached or embedded with a single consonant context [ηpɔ:k³si:⁶], than from the nonsense sound strings, which attached or embedded with either a vowel context [a:¹pɔ:k³si:⁶] or a pseudo-syllable context [khi:m¹pɔ:k³si:⁶]. Different locations of the context (initial; intermediate; final) produced different degrees of interference effects. Together with my previous findings, the present results further supported that the PWC appears to be a useful mechanism in segmenting Cantonese speech. Copyright © 2004 by the Psychologia Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
JournalPsychologia
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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Citation

Yip, M. C. W. (2004). Interference effects of possible-word constraints (PWC) in Cantonese speech segmentation. Psychologia, 47(3), 169-177. doi: 10.2117/psysoc.2004.169

Keywords

  • Cantonese speech
  • Segmentation
  • Possible-word constraint