Edited by Umberto Ansaldo, Jan Don and Roland Pfau
[Studies in Language 32:3] 2008
► pp. 670–682
This paper reports an experiment in which adult native speakers of Dutch were asked to categorize nonce stems. These were presented without any morphological or other information about their potential class-membership. We expected that subjects would be able to categorize these words solely on the basis of phonological information. Nouns in Dutch have a richer possible syllable-structure than verbs (Trommelen 1989) and therefore, we expected that stimuli with a ‘nominal’ syllable make-up could be identified by the subjects as nouns where the other stimuli were ambiguous between nouns and verbs. The results show that this is indeed the case, adding to the evidence that native speakers of a language are able to use phonological information to categorize the words of their language.
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