The aim of this study is to broaden the scope of language production research by investigating the impact of sound structure on speech production in non-Indo-European languages. Speech production models analyze sound structure, like sound similarities and frequencies, by organizing sounds into webs of interconnected words. These “word webs” in turn help us understand how the structural foundations of language, including sound structure, affect speech. To date most hypotheses about word webs build on Indo-European languages.
Speaking is a complex behavioral task. It involves selecting words from an immense mental lexicon, ordering them in well-formed sentences, and articulating their sounds in fluid speech. Dominant models of speech production assume speaking is accomplished with a richly structured mental lexicon; a web of interconnected words and the sounds inside them. Word retrieval in these models involves searching this "word web" and selecting the correct sounds in the right order.