Poppetjes die vragen en oplossingen hebben
Poppetjes die vragen en oplossingen hebben

Dutch morphologically complex words

The role of morphology in speech production and comprehension

Previous research has documented traces of a word’s morphological structure in the acoustic signal in English. The goal of this project is to obtain more information about the role of morphology in general and of morpho-phonetic traces in particular in speech processing. So far, we know very little about why and how speakers produce morpho-phonetic traces and how listeners understand morphologically complex words, produced with or without morpho-phonetic traces. As a consequence, we cannot design full theories of morphological processing.

The project consists of two subprojects. In the first subproject, a PhD candidate, Tim Zee, conducts corpus research and experimental research on the presence and size of morpho-phonetic traces in several speech registers. In addition, this candidate conducts experimental research addressing the question of whether morpho-phonetic traces may affect speech processing and if so how. This subproject focuses on Dutch in order to extend the evidence on morphological effects in speech processing to another language than English and it will thus provide more information about the similarity of these effects across languages.

The second subproject, also conducted by a PhD candidate, Hanno Müller, investigates the role of morphology in general, and of morphological acoustic traces in particular, in auditory word comprehension, by investigating what properties a computational model of auditory word comprehension needs to have in order to well simulate human listeners’ processing of morphologically complex words. The focus will be on the computational models that represent two very different types of architecture: DIANA and Naïve Discriminative Learning. The subproject aims at the simulation of human listeners’ behavior as documented in several existing datasets of word comprehension tasks.

The two PhD candidates are supported by the senior researchers Louis ten Bosch and Mirjam Ernestus.

External project page



Zee, Tim, Louis ten Bosch & Mirjam Ernestus. 2021. Paradigmatic relations interact during the production of complex words: Evidence from variable plurals in Dutch. Accepted by Frontiers in Psychology.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

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