SHORT REPORT Rhyme Attenuates the Auditory Suffix Effect: Alliteration Does Not

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Two experiments are reported in each of which subjects were required to recall spoken consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) syllable lists serially. Both experiments contrasted the effects of a rhyming suffix and an alliterative suffix on recall of the terminal list item. A rhyming suffix reliably attenuated the normally robust suffix effect; an alliterative suffix did not. The finding points to the importance of the location rather than the quantity of phonological repetition in determining the size of the suffix effect. In line with Treiman and Danis (1988), it is argued that the onset (C) and rime (VC) components of CVC syllables may exist as separate entites within short-term acoustic memory. This, coupled with the superior durability of the rime component within acoustic memory, affords the subject a greater probability of recalling correctly the terminal list item in the rhyming suffix condition.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 1997

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