Tracking the time-course of spoken word recognition of Cantonese Chinese in sentence context: Evidence from eye movements

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Abstract

In this study, we conducted an eye-tracking experiment to investigate the effects of sentence context and tonal information on spoken word recognition processes in Cantonese Chinese. We recruited 60 native Cantonese listeners to participate in the eye-tracking experiment. The target words (phonologically similar words) were manipulated to either (1) a congruent context or (2) an incongruent context in the experiment. The resulting eye-movement patterns in the incongruent context condition clearly revealed that (1) sentence context produced a garden-path effect in the initial stage of the spoken word recognition processes and then (2) the lexical tone of the word (bottom-up information) overrode the contextual effects to help listeners to discriminate between different similar-sounding words during lexical access. In conclusion, the patterns of eye-tracking data show the interactive processes between the lexical tone (an acoustic cue within a Cantonese word) and sentence context played in different phases to the spoken word recognition of Cantonese Chinese. Copyright © 2023 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Early online dateOct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2023

Citation

Yip, M. C. W. (2023). Tracking the time-course of spoken word recognition of Cantonese Chinese in sentence context: Evidence from eye movements. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-023-02397-w

Keywords

  • Spoken word recognition
  • Context effects
  • Cantonese ambiguous words
  • Eye-tracking
  • Lexical tone

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