Phonological Phrase Boundary Restrictions in Lexical Access by BP Adult Speakers

Daniel Alves, Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF)
Cristina Name, Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF)

This study investigates the role of prosodic unit boundaries in on-line lexical access by Brazilian Portuguese adult speakers. Two types of prosodic constituents are considered: prosodic words (ω) and phonological phrases (ɸ). Motivated by French experimental results, we proposed two experiments in order to examine on-line lexical access in auditory sentences, considering that prosodic unit boundaries could help the listener to identify morphological word boundaries more easily. In a word detection task, participants were requested to press a button as soon as they heard the target word previously shown on a computer screen. The results suggest that phonological phrase boundaries were relevant cues in the constraint of lexical access, inhibiting the activation of lexical competitors whereas prosodic word boundaries were not.