How do consonant feature values affect the processing of a CVCV structure?: Evidence from a reading task

Bedoin, Nathalie; dos Santos, Christophe
December 2008
Written Language & Literacy;2008, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p191
Academic Journal
This paper discusses one experiment on the French language which shows that distinctive phonological feature similarity between consonants influences the processing of a C1VC2V pseudo-word during a high demanding reading task. When participants were asked to recall one of the two consonants, they made more errors in recalling the voicing of C2 (but not C1) when C1 and C2 disagreed in voicing than when they agreed, a pattern which is reminiscent of progressive harmony. A similar trend was found for manner similarity. This study confirms that sub-phonemic information about voicing is extracted rapidly in reading and can cause early phonetic priming. The elaboration of lateral inhibitory relations between phoneme detectors during reading acquisition can serve to counter errors from this early phonetic priming.1


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