The Role of Structural Constraints in Auditory Word Recognition


  • H. C. Nusbaum
  • D. B. Pisoni


In the past, much of the research on human speech perception pas focused on the recognition of acoustic-phonetic properties of isolated CV and cvc syllables. The tacit assumption of this research has been that our understanding of auditory word recognition is contingent upon solving the problems inherent in phoneme perception. By this assumption, auditory word recognition is equivalent to visual word recognition carried out one letter at a time. Indeed, most current theories of auditory word recognition directly reflect this sequential pattern matching approach to word recognition. However, a different perspective is that word perception may be approached as a problem of "weak" constraint satisfaction, in which the structural properties of words in the lexicon interact to specify the identity of an utterance. we will present the results of several analyses of the phonotactic constraints of word patterns that suggest the type of constraints that may be used by human listeners to mediate spoken word recognition.




How to Cite

Nusbaum HC, Pisoni DB. The Role of Structural Constraints in Auditory Word Recognition. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 3 [cited 2023 Feb. 8];14(3 bis):57-8. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada