Edited by Gary Libben, Gonia Jarema and Chris Westbury
[Benjamins Current Topics 47] 2012
► pp. 13–31
Measures of phonological typicality
Robust coherence and psychological validity
Phonological Typicality (PT) is a measure of the extent to which a word’s phonology is typical of other words in the lexical category to which it belongs. There is a general coherence among words from the same category in terms of speech sounds, and we have found that words that are phonologically typical of their category tend to be processed more quickly and accurately than words that are less typical. In this paper we describe in greater detail the operationalisation of measures of a word’s PT, and report validations of different parameterisations of the measure. For each variant of PT, we report the extent to which it reflects the coherence of the lexical categories of words in terms of their sound, as well as the extent to which the measure predicts naming and lexical decision response times from a database of monosyllabic word processing. We show that PT is robust to parameter variation, but that measures based on PT of uninflected words (lemmas) best predict response time data for naming and lexical decision of single words.