Syllable structure in the mental lexicon: neuropsychological and computational evidence

Ramoo, Dinesh Kumar (2014). Syllable structure in the mental lexicon: neuropsychological and computational evidence. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Redacted Version

Download (3MB)


This thesis investigated the fundamental representations within the mental-lexicon and whether such representations are fixed or differ according to the characteristics of various languages. It looked at whether syllable structure is represented at distinct levels of linguistic representation at phonological and phonetic levels, with phonology governed by the demands of a combinatorial system (the need to create many distinct words from a small number of symbols) and phonetics governed by articulatory complexity (the need to keep motor programming as simple as possible).

Empirical evidence as well as computational work was used to investigate whether syllable structure may be present as an abstract unit within the lexicon and not just computed online at the phonetic level. Three languages were explored in this work: English, Hindi and Italian. This project found evidence from English and Hindi patients with acquired language disorders to support the data previously collected from Italian patients. The empirical data was supported by computational work that considered the rates of resyllabification and storage costs based on the assumptions of different speech production models.
Both the empirical and computational data support the hypothesis that syllable structure may be stored within the mental lexicon.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year