Time and again: The changing effect of word and multiword frequency on phonetic duration for highly frequent sequences

Inbal Arnon*, Uriel Cohen Priva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is growing evidence that multiword information affects processing. In this paper, we look at the effect of word and multiword frequency on the phonetic duration of words in spontaneous speech to (a) extend previous findings and (b) ask whether the relation between word and multiword information changes across the frequency continuum. If highly frequent sequences are stored holistically, then the effect of word frequency should disappear. If alternatively, increased sequence usage causes a change in the prominence of word and multiword information, we should see reduced effects of word frequency, and increased effects of sequence frequency for high frequency sequences. We first extend previous findings by showing that trigram frequency affects single word duration, even when controlling for word predictability. We then show that the effect of trigram frequency increases while the effect of word frequency decreases - but does not disappear - for highly frequent sequences. The findings provide further support for the effect of multiword information on processing and document the growing prominence of multiword information with repeated usage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)377-400
Number of pages24
JournalMental Lexicon
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Keywords

  • Formulaic sequences
  • Holistic storage
  • Multiword frequency
  • Phonetic duration
  • Speech production
  • Usage-based

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