Prosodic structure and spoken word recognition

François Grosjean, James Paul Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to call attention to the role played by prosodic structure in continuous word recognition. First we argue that the written language notion of the word has had too much impact on models of spoken word recognition. Next we discuss various characteristics of prosodic structure that bear on processing issues. Then we present a view of continuous word recognition which takes into account the alternating pattern of weak and strong syllables in the speech stream. A lexical search is conducted with the stressed syllables while the weak syllables are identified through a pattern-recognition-like analysis and the use of phonotactic and morphonemic rules. We end by discussing the content word vs. function word access controversy in the light of our view.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-155
Number of pages21
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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