phonological neighborhood density
Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience just published Esteban Buz’s paper on the relation between the time course of lexical planning and the detail of articulation (as hypothesized by production ease accounts).
Several recent proposals hold that much if not all of explainable pronunciation variation (variation in the realization of a word) can be reduced to effects on the ease of lexical planning. Such production ease accounts have been proposed, for example, for effects of frequency, predictability, givenness, or phonological overlap to recently produced words on the articulation of a word. According to these account, these effects on articulation are mediated through parallel effects on the time course of lexical planning (e.g., recent research by Jennifer Arnold, Jason Kahn, Duane Watson, and others; see references in paper).
This would indeed offer a parsimonious explanation of pronunciation variation. However, the critical test for this claim is a mediation analysis, Read the rest of this entry »