Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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In Dutch, the linking element en in compounds is often homophonous with the regular plural suffix -en. Both are pronounced as [ә], [әn] or [ṇ] in different regions of the Netherlands. As a consequence, speakers of standard Dutch may interpret linking en in spoken compounds as a plural marker. The present study investigates whether the regional origin of the participants affects their interpretation of regional speech variants of linking en. In an auditory decision task, speakers from four regions decided if a compound was singular or plural. While all critical compounds required the singular response, reaction times were delayed when the compound contained a linking en: All speech variants of en produced interference for speakers from four regions of the Netherlands. Region North showed the greatest interference compared to the Middle region. Also, region Northeast revealed larger interference effects for linking [ә] and region South for linking [ṇ]. We conclude that a speaker’s regional origin affects interpretation.


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