Using tonal cues to predict inflections

  • Pelle Söderström
  • Merle Horne
  • Mikael Roll


The present article discusses the Central Swedish word accents – Accent 1 and Accent 2 – and their productive association to suffixes from the point of view of prediction theories of speech processing. Based on recent neurophysiological findings, we propose that both word accents are used predictively, but that Accent 1 is more ‘predictively useful’ than Accent 2, due to the fact that Accent 1 stems signal a smaller well-defined set of upcoming affixes as compared to Accent 2. This ‘usefulness’ allows suffixes to be pre-activated before they have even been heard.