What are effective phonological units in Cantonese spoken word planning?
Two picture—word interference experiments were conducted to investigate the nature of effective phonological units in Cantonese spoken word production. The names of the pictures were Cantonese monosyllables with a consonant 1 vowel 1 consonant (CVC) structure. Participants’ picture-naming responses were faster when the target (e.g., “star” /sing1/) and the distractor shared the same CVC component (e.g., /sing4/, meaning “city”), the same CV component (e.g., /sik6/, “eat”), or the same VC component (e.g., /ging2/, “region”), as opposed to when they were unrelated, and the facilitation effects observed were comparable in size. Also, similar facilitation effects were obtained across the CV1tone-related and the VC1tone-related conditions, whereas no reliable effect was found in the V1tone-related condition. These results indicate that an effective phonological unit in spoken word planning is neither a syllable (without tone) nor a segmental unit, and that the possible candidates lie between the two, at least in Cantonese.
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