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Differential Effects of Number of Letters on Word and Nonword Naming Latency

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The issue addressed in this study is whether there are differential effects of number of letters on word and nonword naming latency. Experiment 1 examined the effect of number of letters on latency for naming high-frequency words, low-frequency words, and nonwords. Number of letters affected latency for low-frequency words and nonwords but did not affect latency for high-frequency words. Number of letters was also negatively correlated with number of orthographic neighbours, number of friends, and average grapheme frequency. Number of letters continued to affect nonword naming latency, but not low-frequency word naming latency, after the effects of orthographic neighbourhood size, number of friends, and average grapheme frequency had been accounted for. Experiment 2 found that number of letters had no effect on the latency of delayed naming of the same words and nonwords. It is concluded that the effect of number of letters on nonword naming reflects a sequential, non-lexical reading mechanism.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1997


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