ERIC Number: EJ784875
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Prosodic Phonological Representations Early in Visual Word Recognition
Ashby, Jane; Martin, Andrea E.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v34 n1 p224-236 Feb 2008
Two experiments examined the nature of the phonological representations used during visual word recognition. We tested whether a minimality constraint (R. Frost, 1998) limits the complexity of early representations to a simple string of phonemes. Alternatively, readers might activate elaborated representations that include prosodic syllable information before lexical access. In a modified lexical decision task (Experiment 1), words were preceded by parafoveal previews that were congruent with a target's initial syllable as well as previews that contained 1 letter more or less than the initial syllable. Lexical decision times were faster in the syllable congruent conditions than in the incongruent conditions. In Experiment 2, we recorded brain electrical potentials (electroencephalograms) during single word reading in a masked priming paradigm. The event-related potential waveform elicited in the syllable congruent condition was more positive 250-350 ms posttarget compared with the waveform elicited in the syllable incongruent condition. In combination, these experiments demonstrate that readers process prosodic syllable information early in visual word recognition in English. They offer further evidence that skilled readers routinely activate elaborated, speechlike phonological representations during silent reading.
Descriptors: Word Recognition, Suprasegmentals, Syllables, Phonemes, Language Processing, Phonology, Silent Reading, English, Experiments
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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