Syntactic category does not inhibit lexical competition.pdf
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Syntactic category does not inhibit lexical competition

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  • In this study we address whether contextual constraints can override bottom-up phonological information during auditory word recognition. Standard models of word recognition assume that cohort competition arises when auditory input increases the activation of word-forms with matching phonological features. Previous work on syntactic category effects has focused on whether syntactic context can prevent lexical competition, but findings have varied, and no study has been able to distinguish between an inhibitory and a facilitatory mechanism for the constraint. We examine this with a novel design for the visual world paradigm that allows us to make this distinction. We do find competition from syntactically inappropriate candidates, in a pattern consistent with a facilitatory rather than an inhibitory mechanism for contextual constraint. This suggests that the constraint operates analogously to and cannot override bottom-up auditory input.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International