Base word Frequency and Pseudohomophone Naming

Authors: Herdman, Chris M.; Lefevre, Jo-Anne; Greenham, Stephanie L.

Source: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 1 November 1996, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 1044-1061(18)


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The advantage of naming pseudohomophones over non-pseudohomophones has been interpreted as reflecting the contribution of whole-word lexical representations in phonological coding. A whole-word interpretation was further supported by Taft and Russell (1992), who reported a pseudohomophone frequency effect such that pseudohomophones were named faster if they corresponded to high- than to low-frequency base-words (e.g. poast vs. hoast ). Experiment 1 replicated this pseudohomophone frequency effect using the Taft and Russell items. Further analyses showed, however, that the pseudohomophones in Taft and Russell's high-frequency group were more orthographically similar to words than the pseudohomophones in the low-frequency group. These differences in orthography may have been the cause of the ''frequency'' effects. In Experiment 2, a new set of high- and low-frequency pseudohomophones was constructed that were matched on orthographic factors (i.e. SPBF and N). With these items, a standard pseudohomophone advantage was found such that pseudohomophones were named faster and more accurately than non-pseudohomophones. However, in contrast to Taft and Russell's results, pseudohomophone naming was not related to base-word frequency. We conclude that the pseudohomophone advantage occurs at a postlexical stage in non-word naming.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1996

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