Grammatical constraints on phonological encoding in speech production

Jordana R. Heller*, Matthew Goldrick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


To better understand the influence of grammatical encoding on the retrieval and encoding of phonological wordform information during speech production, we examine how grammatical class constraints influence the activation of phonological neighbors (words phonologically related to the target— e.g., MOON, TWO for target TUNE). Specifically, we compare how neighbors that share a target’s grammatical category (here, nouns) influence its planning and retrieval, assessed by picture naming latencies, and phonetic encoding, assessed by word productions in picture names, when grammatical constraints are strong (in sentence contexts) versus weak (bare naming). Within-category (noun) neighbors influenced planning time and phonetic encoding more strongly in sentence contexts. This suggests that grammatical encoding constrains phonological processing; the influence of phonological neighbors is grammatically dependent. Moreover, effects on planning times could not fully account for phonetic effects, suggesting that phonological interaction affects articulation after speech onset. These results support production theories integrating grammatical, phonological, and phonetic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1576-1582
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014


  • Phonology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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