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NetWordS – The European Network on Word Structure

Project leader: Vito Pirrelli (Pisa)

European Science Foundation

Austrian collaborators: Wolfgang U. Dressler, Soonja Choi, Sabine Laaha, Katharina Korecky-Kröll, Sylvia Moosmüller 

International collaborators: Laila Kjærbæk, Basilio Calderone, Chiara Celata, Irene Ricci

In 2012, Sabine Laaha and Laila Kjærbæk worked on the acquisition of noun plurals in German, Danish, and Dutch.

Current research focuses on phonotactic and morphonotactic clusters (initiated by Basilio Calderone's and Chiara Celata's NetWordS short visits to Vienna in May 2012):

The theoretical background of this project is the Strong Morphonotactic Hypothesis (Dressler & Dziubalska-Kołaczyk 2006) which claims that phonotactics helps in decomposition of words into morphemes: If a certain sequence occurs only or only by default over a morpheme boundary and is thus a prototypical morphonotactic sequence, it should be acquired earlier and processed faster and more accurately than a purely phonotactic sequence.

The computational model PHACTS (Phonotactic Activation System), developed by Basilio Calderone and Chiara Celata (see e.g. Calderone & Celata 2012), simulates the processing of ortho-phonological words, relying on n-gram sampling of type and token frequency distributions of phonemes in a given linguistic corpus, and generalizes the resulting phonotactic knowledge to novel stimuli.

Within this framework, our project group (consisting of Basilio Calderone, Chiara Celata, and Irene Ricci on the one hand, and Wolfgang U. Dressler, Katharina Korecky-Kröll, Sylvia Moosmüller on the other hand) developed and conducted several computational and psycholinguistic processing experiments concerning German phonotactic and morphonotactic consonant clusters.

Project website

Department of Linguistics
Comparative Psycholinguistics Research Group
University of Vienna
Porzellangasse 4/2/3rd floor
1090 Vienna

T: +43-1-4277-441 78
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