The primacy of abstract syllables in Chinese word production

Jenn Yeu Chen, Pádraig G. O'Séaghdha*, Train Min Chen


研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

29 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Convergent evidence suggests that syllables play a primary and distinctive role in the phonological phase of Mandarin Chinese word production. Specifically, syllables are selected before other phonological components and guide subsyllabic encoding. The proximity of phonological syllables to word representations in Chinese languages ensures that they are also activated automatically by word perception. Therefore, in contrast to Indo-European languages, syllables but not necessarily subsyllabic components such as initial consonants can be perceptually primed in production. We tested this prediction in 2 masked-priming experiments. To isolate relevant phonological activation originating in primes, we used single character masked primes whose corresponding tones and lexical meanings always differed from those of the targets' first morphemes. Related primes potentially activated the atonal first syllables or the first consonants of target words. To strongly engage production-specific processes, we used pictures as prompts for disyllabic target words. Facilitation relative to unrelated controls was observed only in the syllable sharing condition. If anything, sharing of initial consonants had a negative valence, perhaps indicative of competition among similar coactivated words or syllables. These findings corroborate the view that abstract syllables are the first selected, proximate phonological units in Chinese word production, and that phonemic segments play a subordinate role.

頁(從 - 到)825-836
期刊Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
出版狀態已發佈 - 2016 5月 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 語言與語言學
  • 實驗與認知心理學
  • 語言和語言學


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