Two experiments were conducted to investigate the time course of syllabic and sub-syllabic encoding in Cantonese spoken word production by using the picture-word interference task. Cantonese-speaking participants were asked to name individually presented pictures aloud and ignore an auditory word distractor. The targets in Experiment 1 were consonant-vowel(CV)- structured mono-syllabic words or di-syllabic words beginning with a CV syllable. The targets and distractors were either phonologically related or unrelated. The phonologically related distractor was either a CV or a CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) syllable that overlapped with the target two identical word-initial phonemes. The two types of phonologically related distractors had the same degree of segmental overlap with their target only that the CV- structured distractor also shared with the target the same atonal syllable (i.e., Full Syllable Overlap) but not for the CVC-structured distractor (i.e., Segmental Overlap Only). Relative to the unrelated control, Full Syllable Overlap distractors facilitated naming in all stimuli onset asynchronies (SOAs) (-175, 0, or +175 ms) whereas Segmental Overlap Only distractors exhibited facilitation only at 0-ms and +175-ms SOAs. Experiment 2 adopted a similar design, however, the target syllables were CVC-structured. The phonological distractor was either a CVC or CV syllable that shared two word-initial phonemes with the target. Comparable facilitation effects were observed in all SOAs irrespective of the syllabic-structure of the distractor. These results indicated that an earlier priming effect was observed with full syllable overlap than sub-syllabic overlap when the degree of segmental overlap was held constant (Experiment 1). The earlier syllable priming observed in Experiment 1 could not be attributed to the effect of syllabic-structure (Experiment 2), thereby suggesting that the syllable unit is important in Cantonese and is retrieved earlier than sub-syllabic components during phonological encoding. Copyright © 2018 ICPEAL 17 - CLDC 9.
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2018|