ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (4): 414-425.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00414

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇



  1. 中国人民大学心理学系, 北京 100872
  • 收稿日期:2019-03-29 出版日期:2020-04-25 发布日期:2020-02-25
  • 通讯作者: 张清芳
  • 基金资助:
    * 北京市社会科学基金重点项目(16YYA006);中国人民大学科学研究基金项目(中央高校基本科研业务费专项)(18XNLG28)

Primary phonological planning units in Chinese spoken word production: Evidence from an ERP study with implicit priming paradigm

ZHANG Qingfang(),WANG Xuejiao   

  1. Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2019-03-29 Online:2020-04-25 Published:2020-02-25
  • Contact: Qingfang ZHANG


本研究中选择英语水平低的汉语母语者, 排除作为二语的英语音韵编码单元(音素)可能对汉语口语词汇产生过程的影响后, 运用事件相关电位技术, 考察了汉语口语产生过程中音节和音素效应的时间进程。实验采用内隐启动范式, 要求被试看到提示词之后说出对应的目标词。事件相关电位分析结果发现, 音节效应出现在线索词呈现后的100~400 ms之间, 音素效应出现在500~600 ms之间, 波形表现为相关条件比无关条件的波形更正。这表明在词汇选择之后的音韵编码阶段讲话者首先提取的单元是音节, 而音素效应出现的时间窗口可能是音韵编码阶段后期或者是语音编码阶段, 结果验证了合适编码单元假说的观点。

关键词: 口语词汇产生, 音韵编码, 合适编码单元假说, 音节, 音素


Languages may differ in terms of the proximate units of phonological encoding in spoken word production. It is widely accepted that phonemes are the primary units used in Indo-European languages. However, it is controversial what the functional units (syllables or phonemes) are in Chinese spoken word production. In the framework of proximate unit principle hypothesis for Mandarin Chinese spoken word production, phonological content is activated in a syllable while its syllabic frame is retrieved. Both syllabic content and frame are linked sequentially and tone is also specified at this point. Crucially, syllables are retrieved at an early stage of word form encoding, and then the phonemes of the syllable are retrieved in parallel and linked to their position in the syllable frame. The present study investigated the temporal courses of syllables and phonemes in word production using an implicit priming paradigm, and electrophysiological signals were measured concurrently. Specifically, participants were young native Chinese speakers with low level of English ability for excluding the influence of the second language.

In an implicit priming paradigm, four sets of word pairs served as experimental stimuli. Each set consisted of four pairs, and the first word of a pair was the cue word, while the second was the response word. In the homogeneous conditions, four response words in a set with common phonological properties. For instance, the four response words in a set were危机(/wei1ji1/, crisis), 围墙 (/wei2qiang2/, bounding wall), 尾巴 (/wei3ba/, tail), and 卫星(/wei4xing1/, satellite), which shared the first syllable but not tone. The heterogeneous conditions used the same word pairs, but assigned them to sets in which they didn’t share any properties. Two homogeneous conditions (syllable shared and initial phoneme shared) were used in the study. Participants were asked to memorize the sets of four pairs of associate words, after which they were presented with the cue words, and were required to produce the response words.

Behavioral results didn’t show any syllable or phoneme effects. EEG results revealed that syllable overlap condition elicited significant effects in the time window of 100~400 ms, and the effect firstly showed up in the left and right anterior regions, following in the middle anterior region, and finally in the left and right anterior regions, right and middle posterior regions. While the phoneme effects only appeared between 500~600 ms after the cue words were presented, and were distributed in the right anterior and posterior regions. Both the syllabically and phonemically homogeneous conditions were characterized by more positive ERP waveforms when compared to the heterogeneous conditions. We suggest that syllable overlap effect arises at an early stage of phonological encoding, whereas the phoneme overlap effect possibly arises at a late stage of phonological encoding, or phonetic encoding in Chinese spoken word production. Our findings provide support for the assumption of the proximate unit principle.

Key words: spoken word production, phonological encoding, proximate unit principle, syllable, phoneme