Are the effects of vowel repetition influenced by frequencies? A corpus study on CVCVCV-structured nouns with and without vowel repetition
A psychological study by Tamaoka and Murata (2001) suggested that CVCVCV-structured nonwords (e.g., /kohomo/) with the same vowel repeated showed longer naming latencies than the same-structured nonwords without vowel repetition (e.g., /kohami/). One of the possible factors for prolonging vowel repetition could be the frequency of vowel repetition in Japanese. Thus, the present study calculated token frequencies for nouns with the same vowel repeated within a CVCVCV phonological structure, based on the Japanese lexical corpus (287,792,797 words) of Amano and Kondo (2000). The results showed that vowels were repeated among Japanese nouns with a CVCVCV string more frequently than the random possibility of 4 percent. In addition, nouns with the same vowels in the first and second positions (i.e., V1 and V2 in the CV1CV2CV3) showed significantly higher occurrences than the random chance of 20 percent, whereas nouns with the same vowels in the second and third positions appeared at the random level (i.e., V2 and V3). Since it is expected that higher frequency enhances speed and accuracy in naming, phonological structures with the same vowel repeated can be expected to be more quickly and accurately named. Conflicting results between the present corpus study and the experimental study by Tamaoka and Murata (2001) excluded the possibility of the frequency of vowel repetition affecting the speed and accuracy of phonological processing.