Word frequency effects in phonological retrieval in Modern Standard Arabic

2019 IJRSLL – Volume 8 Issue 2


Aljasser, Faisal*
Qassim University, Saudi Arabia (jasr@qu.edu.sa)


To produce a spoken word both a wholistic lexical representation, a “lemma” and its phonological representation, a “lexeme” are accessed. The retrieval of these components is influenced by various lexical factors. Word frequency has the most empirically established effect. This effect is assumed to arise at the phonological retrieval step of lexical access. The current study asked if this word frequency effect on phonological retrieval can also be evident in the context of a diglossic language, where two varieties of a language are used by native speakers. Native Arabic speakers were asked to shadow words that varied in their frequency in Modern Standard Arabic. Latency and accuracy rates showed that shadowing was facilitated by word frequency. Implication of these finding to theories of lexical access in speech production is discussed.

Keywords: word frequency; shadowing; speech production; lexical access; Arabic


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2019.4007

*Corresponding Author