Distinctive phonological features differ in relevance for both spoken and written word recognition

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Abstract

This paper discusses four experiments on Dutch which show that distinctive phonological features differ in their relevance for word recognition. The relevance of a feature for word recognition depends on its phonological stability, that is, the extent to which that feature is generally realized in accordance with its lexical specification in the relevant word position. If one feature value is uninformative, all values of that feature are less relevant for word recognition, with the least informative feature being the least relevant. Features differ in their relevance both in spoken and written word recognition, though the differences are more pronounced in auditory lexical decision than in self-paced reading.

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