Acoustic-phonetic ambiguity in word initial position was investigated in three experiments in which the ambiguous string was compatible with two lexical items. Perceptual/lexical ambiguities were embedded in sentences in which contextual information subsequent to the item served to bias the interpretation of the ambiguous string. Two experiments are reported that investigated temporal constraints on perceptual/lexical ambiguity resolution. The results suggest that commitment to a single lexical hypothesis occurs within a relatively small window of time. When information relevant to selection of the contextually appropriate word is not forthcoming within six syllables, commitment to a single lexical hypothesis is delayed but proceeds without benefit from sentence context. The results of Experiment 3 suggest that in addition to temporal constraints, a short independent clause promotes early commitment to a single lexical hypothesis. The findings are discussed in terms of assumptions of current auditory word recognition models.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Artificial Intelligence