Tomaschek, Fabian; Tucker, Benjamin V.; Ramscar, Michael; Harald Baayen, R. (2021):
"Paradigmatic Enhancement of Stem Vowels in Regular English Inflected Verb Forms." Phonological and Phonetic Variation in Spoken Morphology. Special issue of Morphology 31.2: 171-199.
Journal Article

Many theories of word structure in linguistics and morphological processing in cognitive psychology are grounded in a compositional perspective on the (mental) lexicon in which complex words are built up during speech production from sublexical elements such as morphemes, stems, and exponents. When combined with the hypothesis that storage in the lexicon is restricted to the irregular, the prediction follows that properties specific to regular inflected words cannot co-determine the phonetic realization of these inflected words. This study shows that the stem vowels of regular English inflected verb forms that are more frequent in their paradigm are produced with more enhanced articulatory gestures in the midsaggital plane, challenging compositional models of lexical processing. The effect of paradigmatic probability dovetails well with the Paradigmatic Enhancement Hypothesis and is consistent with a growing body of research indicating that the whole is more than its parts.