Two experiments are reported that investigate whether the lexical and orthographic effects typically found in a simultaneous matching task are due to the facilitating effect of linguistic context on letter identification. The first experiment used a delayed matching task (2-sec SOA), with serial incremental display of the letters of the second stimulus (e.g., B, BR, BRA, BRAI, BRAIN). Lexical and orthographic effects were clearly demonstrated when the letters of the second stimulus were displayed rapidly (40 msec/letter), but these effects were absent at a slower speed (400 msec/letter). The same results were obtained in a second experiment, in which the letters of both stimuli were synchronously presented at either the fast rate or the slow rate. These results were interpreted in terms of a multilevel race model that assumes no interaction between levels of processing and attributes the effects to differing degrees of decision-processing lag.