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Forgetting and redintegration of consonants and vowels in pseudoword lists

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Immediate recall of phonemes was studied in a pseudoword span task. Finnish participants recalled lists of increasing length, consisting of C(consonant)V(vowel)CVCV pseudowords. The lists were made up from pools of 12 pseudowords. There were three types of lists. In the non-redundant lists the items were unpredictable combinations of consonants and vowels. In consonant-redundant lists, all items had the consonant frame /t/_/s/_/l/. In vowel-redundant lists, all items had the vowel frame _/u/_/e/_/o/. Unlike redundant last syllables in a previous experiment, neither consonant nor vowel redundancy helped list recall. Instead, a harmful phonological similarity effect was apparent in the vowel-redundant case but not the consonant-redundant case. A phoneme-level analysis of recall showed that consonants were recalled better in consonant-redundant lists and vowels were recalled better in vowel-redundant lists compared to non-redundant lists. Vowels appeared to be more important for discrimination between items, with redundancy resulting in confusions. The consequences of phoneme-level forgetting and redintegration for item- and list-level recall are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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