Bridging the Methodological Divide: Linguistic and psycholinguistic approaches to formulaic language
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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There is growing evidence that multiword information affects processing. In this paper, we look at the effect of word and multiword frequency on the phonetic duration of words in spontaneous speech to (a) extend previous findings and (b) ask whether the relation between word and multiword information changes across the frequency continuum. If highly frequent sequences are stored holistically, then the effect of word frequency should disappear. If alternatively, increased sequence usage causes a change in the prominence of word and multiword information, we should see reduced effects of word frequency, and increased effects of sequence frequency for high frequency sequences. We first extend previous findings by showing that trigram frequency affects single word duration, even when controlling for word predictability. We then show that the effect of trigram frequency increases while the effect of word frequency decreases — but does not disappear — for highly frequent sequences. The findings provide further support for the effect of multiword information on processing and document the growing prominence of multiword information with repeated usage.


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