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RESEARCH ON SPOKEN LANGUAGE PROCESSING



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CONSTITUENCY AND ASSOCIABILITY RESEARCH ON SPOKEN LANGUAGE PROCESSING Progress Report No 28 2007 Indiana University Implementing and Testing Theories of Linguistic Constituency I English Syllable Structure1 Vsevolod Kapatsinski Speech Research Laboratory Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Indiana University Bloomington Indiana 47405 1 I would like to thank the NIH for financial support through Training Grant DC 00012 and Research Grant DC 00111 to David Pisoni Many thanks to Luis Hernandez for his help in creating the experimental program and to Adam Buchwald for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper 241 KAPATSINSKI Implementing and Testing Theories of Linguistic Constituency I English Syllable Structure Abstract This paper proposes and tests an experimental method to evaluate models of linguistic constituency including 1 Connections within constituents are stronger than connections spanning constituent boundaries 2 A constituent is more likely to be parsed out of the signal than a non constituent i e constituents are processing units and 3 Both constituents and non constituents are units with constituents simply having higher frequency than non constituents The method XOR learning is designed to distinguish between associability of a whole and associability of its parts Subjects learn to associate the whole with a different response than the response both of its parts have been associated with We apply the method to the onset rime organization of English CVC syllables with a lax vowel showing that native English speakers can learn rime affix associations but not body affix associations This difference in associability between bodies and rimes is observed in the absence of associability differences between onsets and codas the only parts that bodies and rimes do not share Competing theories of linguistic constituency are implemented in a Hebbian framework where parts of the syllable extracted from the signal become associated with affixes



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