The Effect of Non-Linguistic Patterns on Linguistic Biases


The present study explores the effects of non-linguistic experiences on biases for linguistic judgments, specifically consonant deletion patterns. When two adjacent consonants come into contact as a result of morphological concatenation, many languages will delete the first consonant (e.g., /bepdok/ becomes /bedok/). Speakers of these languages (as well as English speakers) prefer deletion of the first consonant to the second consonant because the first consonant is perceptually weaker, making it more prone to misrepresentations and modifications. Following exposure to a non-linguistic analogue of consonant deletion in which the second consonant was deleted instead of the first, participants no longer preferred deletion of the first consonant in the metalinguistic judgment task. These results suggest that exposure to non-linguistic materials can interact with linguistic judgments.

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