Phonologically determined asymmetries in vocabulary structure across languages

Anne Cutler*, Takashi Otake, Laurence Bruggeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Studies of spoken-word recognition have revealed that competition from embedded words differs in strength as a function of where in the carrier word the embedded word is found and have further shown embedding patterns to be skewed such that embeddings in initial position in carriers outnumber embeddings in final position. Lexico-statistical analyses show that this skew is highly attenuated in Japanese, a noninflectional language. Comparison of the extent of the asymmetry in the three Germanic languages English, Dutch, and German allows the source to be traced to a combination of suffixal morphology and vowel reduction in unstressed syllables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)EL155-EL160
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132(2), pp. EL155-EL160 and may be found at


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