Recent investigations have supported the suggestion that phonological speech errors may reflect the simultaneous activation of more than one phonemic representation. This presents a challenge for speech error evidence which is based on the assumption of well-formedness, because we may continue to perceive well-formed errors, even when they are not produced. To address this issue, we present two tongue-twister experiments in which the articulation of onset consonants is quantified and compared to baseline measures from cases where there is no phonemic competition. We report three measure of articulatory variability: changes in tongue-to-palate contact using electropalatography (EPG, Experiment 1), changes in midsagittal spline of the tongue using ultrasound (Experiment 2), and acoustic changes manifested as voice-onset time (VOT). These three sources provide converging evidence that articulatory variability increases when competing onsets differ by one phonological feature, but the increase is attenuated when onsets differ by two features. This finding provides clear evidence, based solely on production, that the articulation of phonemes is influenced by cascading activation from the speech plan.
- Speech production
- Phonemic similarity