Matthew A. LAMBON RALPH
- PSYCHOLOGIA (ISSN:00332852)
- vol.58, no.3, pp.145-154, 2015 (Released:2016-09-24)
It is well established that the phonological system captures the quasiregularity of phoneme sequences. For example, repetition performance is better for nonwords composed of phoneme combinations that occur frequently in one’s native language. Although phoneme sequences are necessarily accompanied by suprasegmental aspects (e.g., accent patterns), the influence of suprasegmental aspects has not been investigated extensively. This study examined the influence of Japanese pitch-accent pattern on nonword repetition. Exploration of nonwords provides an opportunity to investigate phonological factors largely without lexical and semantic influences. We conducted immediate and delayed nonword repetition experiments, manipulating phonotactic frequency and pitch-accent type. Two experiments revealed that nonwords presented with atypical accent patterns showed more frequent phonemic and accent pattern errors than nonwords with more typical accent patterns. The results indicate that the phonological system captures a range of sublexical phonological characteristics found in each language through linguistic experiences and is not limited to coding phonemic sequences alone. We suggest that although there is diversity in functioning of phonological systems driven by linguistic variability, such diversity stems from universal learning mechanisms in language processing systems.