Syllables and phonemes as planning units in Mandarin Chinese spoken word production: Evidence from ERPs

Qingqing Qu*, Chen Feng, Fengyun Hou, Markus F E Damian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Speakers of different languages might rely on differential phonological units when planning spoken output. In the present experiment, we investigated the role of phonemes, as well as the relative time course of syllabic vs phonemic encoding, in Mandarin Chinese word production. A form preparation task was combined with encephalography (EEG). In Experiment 1, word-initial phonemic overlap was manipulated; in Experiment 2, overlap was either in terms of phonemes or of syllables. Priming in latencies was found for syllabic but not for phonemic overlap. Phonemic overlap modulated ERPs in a 230-300 ms time window (range across Experiment 1 and 2) whereas syllabic overlap was found in a 200-280 ms time window. These results show that both phonemes and syllables are important planning units for Chinese speakers, and the relatively similar time course of activation provides important constraints on psycholinguistic models of Chinese spoken production.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107559
Number of pages13
JournalNeuropsychologia
Early online date15 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Chinese spoken word production
  • phonological encoding
  • syllable
  • phoneme
  • form preparation task

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