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Reading: The Role of Rhythmic Cues for Speech Segmentation in Monolingual and Bilingual Listeners

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Research Article

The Role of Rhythmic Cues for Speech Segmentation in Monolingual and Bilingual Listeners

Authors:

Vincent Goetry ,

Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, Université Libre de Bruxelles, C.P. 191, Av. F. D. Roosevelt, 50, 1050 Brussels, BE
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Régine Kolinsky

Université Libre de Bruxelles, BE
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Abstract

Spoken word recognition involves the segmentation and identification of a continuous and highly complex stimulus. It has been proposed that, in segmenting speech, listeners apply a universal rhythmic strategy that has language-specific manifestations depending on the phonological characteristics of their native language (Cutler, Mehler, Norris, & Segui, 1983, 1986): While native listeners of Romance languages like French are said to rely on syllabic structures, native listeners of Germanic languages like English or Dutch would use metrical structures. In the first part of the present paper, these proposals are discussed with regard to speech segmentation in monolinguals. It will he argued that word stress may provide powerful cues to word boundaries in both French and Dutch. The second part of the present contribution addresses the issue of speech segmentation in bilinguals, and. in particular, the claim that bilinguals develop a single rhythmic segmentation procedure restricted to their dominant language (Cutler, Mehler, Norris, & Segui, 1992). It will be argued instead that the use of adapted rhythmic segmentation cues is a necessary component of second language acquisition, and. consequently, that bilinguals who attain a high level of proficiency in their second language are able to exploit the rhythmic structures of that language in speech segmentation.

How to Cite: Goetry, V. and Kolinsky, R., 2000. The Role of Rhythmic Cues for Speech Segmentation in Monolingual and Bilingual Listeners. Psychologica Belgica, 40(3), pp.115–152. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.960
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Published on 01 Jan 2000.
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