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An investigation of phonology and orthography in spoken-word recognition

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The possible influence of initial phonological and/or orthographic information on spoken-word processing was examined in six experiments modelled after and extending the work Jakimik, Cole, and Rudnicky (1985). Following Jakimik et al., Experiment 1 used polysyllabic primes with monosyllabic targets (e.g., BUCKLE–BUCK / b ^ k @ l /–/ b ^ k /; MYSTERY–MISS, / m I s t 2 r i /–/ m I s /). Experiments 2, 3, and 4 used polysyllabic primes and polysyllabic targets whose initial syllables shared phonological information (e.g., NUISANCE–NOODLE, / n u s I n s /–/ n u d @ l /), orthographic information (e.g., RATIO–RATIFY, /r e Si o /–/ r æ t I f a I /), both (e.g., FUNNEL–FUNNY, / f ^ n @ l /–/ f ^ n i /), or were unrelated (e.g., SERMON–NOODLE, / s Å m @ n /–/ n u d @ l /). Participants engaged in a lexical decision (Experiments 1, 3, and 4) or a shadowing (Experiment 2) task with a single-trial (Experiments 2 and 3) or subsequent-trial (Experiments 1 and 4) priming procedure. Experiment 5 tested primes and targets that varied in the number of shared graphemes while holding shared phonemes constant at one. Experiment 6 used the procedures of Experiment 2 but a low proportion of related trials. Results revealed that response times were facilitated for prime–target pairs that shared initial phonological and orthographic information. These results were confirmed under conditions when strategic processing was greatly reduced suggesting that phonological and orthographic information is automatically activated during spoken-word processing.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, USA 2: Worcester State College, Worcester, MA, USA 3: University at Albany–SUNY, Albany, NY, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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