Possible-Word Constraints in Cantonese speech segmentation

Michael C.W. Yip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A Cantonese syllable-spotting experiment was conducted to examine whether the Possible-Word Constraint (PWC), proposed by Norris, McQueen, Cutler, and Butterfield (1997), can apply in Cantonese speech segmentation. In the experiment, listeners were asked to spot out the target Cantonese syllable from a series of nonsense sound strings. Results suggested that listeners found it more difficult to spot out the target syllable [kDm1] in the nonsense sound strings that attached with a single consonant [tkDm1] than in the nonsense sound strings that attached either with a vowel [a:kDm1] or a pseudo-syllable [khow1k3m1]. Finally, the current set of results further supported that the PWC appears to be a language-universal mechanism in segmenting continuous speech.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Cantonese
  • Possible-word constraint
  • Speech segmentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Possible-Word Constraints in Cantonese speech segmentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this