Modeling of phonological encoding in spoken word production: From Germanic languages to Mandarin Chinese and Japanese

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It is widely assumed that spoken word production in Germanic languages like Dutch and English involves a parallel activation of phonemic segments and metrical frames in memory, followed by a serial association of segments to the frame, as implemented in the WEAVER++ model (Levelt, Roelofs, & Meyer, 1999). However, for Oriental languages like Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, researchers have suggested that the serial association concerns atonal phonological syllables (Mandarin Chinese) or moras (Japanese) to tonal frames. Here, the utility of these theoretical suggestions is demonstrated by computer simulations of key empirical findings using versions of WEAVER++ for English, Mandarin Chinese (Symbol.++), and Japanese (Symbol). The simulation outcomes suggest that, although languages may differ in the phonological structure of their words, the principles underlying phonological encoding are similar across languages.

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