The Effect of Phonological Encoding on Word Duration: Selection Takes Time

  • Duane G WatsonEmail author
  • Andrés Buxó-Lugo
  • Dominique C Simmons
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 46)


In this chapter, we investigate whether the process of phonological encoding plays a role in determining the duration of a word. We explore whether points of complexity in word production as predicted by a simple recurrent network also predict points within a word at which speakers slow down. Simple recurrent networks were trained to produce two different words under two conditions: In the first condition, the two words in the sequence overlapped in their initial morphemes (e.g., layover layout) and in the second condition, the words overlapped in their final morpheme (e.g., overlay outlay). The network experienced the most error for words that overlapped initially and at points of word non-overlap. Participants who produced these same sequences in a repetition task exhibited lengthening at points of complexity predicted by the network. We propose that lengthening may be partly a result of the phonological encoding system needing processing time.


Prosody Production Phonological encoding Simple recurrent network Duration Modeling Phonology 



We would like to thank John Hummel and Gary Dell for their comments and advice on the modeling component of the chapter. This work was supported by NIH grant R01 DC008774 and a grant from the James S. McDonnell foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duane G Watson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrés Buxó-Lugo
    • 1
  • Dominique C Simmons
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California RiversideRiversideUSA

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