The roles of long-term phonotactic and lexical prosodic knowledge in phonological short-term memory.

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Abstract

Many previous studies have explored and confirmed the influence of long-term phonological representations on phonological short-term memory. In most investigations, phonological effects have been explored with respect to phonotactic constraints or frequency. If interaction between long-term memory and phonological short-term memory is a generalized principle, then other phonological characteristics-that is, suprasegmental aspects of phonology-should also exert similar effects on phonological short-term memory. We explored this hypothesis through three immediate serial-recall experiments that manipulated Japanese nonwords with respect to lexical prosody (pitch-accent type, reflecting suprasegmental characteristics) as well as phonotactic frequency (reflecting segmental characteristics). The results showed that phonotactic frequency affected the retention not only of the phonemic sequences, but also of pitch-accent patterns, when participants were instructed to recall both the phoneme sequence and accent pattern of nonwords. In addition, accent pattern typicality influenced the retention of the accent pattern: Typical accent patterns were recalled more accurately than atypical ones. These results indicate that both long-term phonotactic and lexical prosodic knowledge contribute to phonological short-term memory performance.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalMemory & Cognition
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2014