Using false memories to characterize lexical representations: A test case from English

Abstract

The English phoneme /t/ is realized as [th] wordinitially ([th]ip), but in many dialects it exhibits free variation word-finally (ba[t] ~ ba[ʔt̚] ~ ba[ʔ]). We examined whether listeners construct false memories at different rates for these two different types of words. We presented listeners with lists of spoken phonological neighbors, such as lip, tin, type... (neighbors of tip) and fat, ban, bet... (neighbors of bat), followed by two different memory tasks, recall and recognition. Results indicate significantly lower rates of false memories for words like bat, and different patterns of recall versus recognition indicate that two separate mechanisms contribute to this result. We suggest that free variation creates qualitatively distinctive lexical representations which resist false memories.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Pycha2015UsingFM, title={Using false memories to characterize lexical representations: A test case from English}, author={Anne Pycha}, booktitle={ICPhS}, year={2015} }