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The specific-word frequency effect: implications for the representation of homophones in speech production. In a series of experiments, the authors investigated whether naming latencies for homophones (e.g., /nlambdan/) are a function of specific-word frequency (i.e., the frequency of nun) or a function of cumulative-homophone frequency (i.e., the sum of the frequencies of nun and none). Specific-word but not cumulative-homophone frequency affected picture-naming latencies. This result was obtained in 2 languages (English and Chinese). An analogous finding was obtained in a translation task, where bilingual speakers produced the English names of visually presented Spanish words. Control experiments ruled out that these results are an artifact of orthographic or articulatory factors, or of visual recognition. The results argue against the hypothesis that homophones share a common word-form representation, and support instead a model in which homophones have fully independent representations. jeplmc.
Acoustical analysis of Spanish vowels produced by laryngectomized subjects. The purpose of this study was to describe the acoustic characteristics of Spanish vowels in subjects who had undergone a total laryngectomy and to compare the results with those obtained in a control group of subjects who spoke normally. Our results are discussed in relation to those obtained in previous studies with English-speaking laryngectomized patients. The comparison between English and Spanish, which diFfer widely in the size of their vowel inventories, will help us to determine specific or universal vowel production characteristics in these patients. Our second objective was to relate the acoustic properties of these vowels to the perceptual data obtained in our previous work (J. L. Miralles & T. Cervera, 1995). In that study, results indicated that vowels produced by alaryngeal speakers were well perceived in word context. Vowels were produced in CVCV word context by two groups of patients who had undergone laryngectomy: tracheoesophageal speakers (TES) and esophageal speakers. In addition a control group of normal talkers was included. Audio recordings of 24 Spanish words produced by each speaker were analyzed using CSL (Kay Elemetrics). Results showed that F1, F2, and vowel duration of alaryngeal speakers differ significantly from normal values. In general, laryngectomized patients produce vowels with higher formant frequencies and longer durations than the group of laryngeal subjects. Thus, the data indicate modifications either in the frequency or temporal domain, following the same tendency found in previous studies with English-speaking laryngectomized speakers. jslhr.
Semantic codes are not used in integrating information across eye fixations in reading: evidence from fluent Spanish-English bilinguals. The question of whether meaning can be extracted from unidentified parafoveal words was examined using fluent Spanish-English bilinguals. In Experiment 1, subjects fixated on a central cross, and a preview word was presented to the right of fixation in parafoveal vision. During the saccade to the parafoveal preview word, the preview was replaced by the target word, which the subject was required to name. In Experiment 2, subjects read sentences containing the target word, and, as in the naming task, a preview word was replaced by the target word when the subject's saccade crossed a boundary location. In both experiments, preview words were identical to the target word, translations, orthographic controls for the translations, or unrelated words in the opposite language. In both experiments, the preview benefit from the translation conditions was no greater than would be predicted by the orthographic similarity of the preview to the target. Hence, the data indicated that subjects obtained no useful semantic information from words seen parafoveally that enabled them to identify them more quickly on the subsequent fixation.