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Studies of the effects of lexical neighbors upon the recognition of spoken words have generally assumed that the most salient competitors differ by a single phoneme. The present study employs a procedure that induces the listeners to perceive and call out the salient competitors. By presenting a recording of a monosyllable repeated over and over, perceptual adaptation is produced, and perception of the stimulus is replaced by perception of a competitor. Reports from groups of subjects were obtained for monosyllables that vary in their frequency-weighted neighborhood density. The findings are compared with predictions based upon the neighborhood activation model.


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