Can CANISO activate CASINO? Transposed-letter similarity effects with nonadjacent letter positions

Manuel Perea*, Stephen J. Lupker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    254 Citations (Scopus)


    Nonwords created by transposing two adjacent letters (i.e., transposed-letter (TL) nonwords like jugde) are very effective at activating the lexical representation of their base words. This fact poses problems for most computational models of word recognition (e.g., the interactive-activation model and its extensions), which assume that exact letter positions are rapidly coded during the word recognition process. To examine the scope of TL similarity effects further, we asked whether TL similarity effects occur for nonwords created by exchanging two nonadjacent letters (e.g., caniso - CASINO ) in three masked form priming experiments using the lexical decision task. The two nonadjacent transposed letters were consonants in Experiment 1 (e.g., caniso - CASINO), vowels in Experiment 2 (anamil-ANIMAL) and both consonants and vowels in Experiment 3. Results showed that nonadjacent TL primes produce priming effects (in comparison to orthographic controls, e.g., caviro - CASINO), however, only when the transposed letters are consonants. In a final experiment we examined latencies for nonwords created by nonadjacent transpositions of consonants versus vowels in a lexical decision task. Both types of nonwords produced longer latencies than matched controls, with consonant TL nonwords being more difficult than vowel TL nonwords. The implications of these findings for models having "position-specific" coding schemes as well as for models proposing alternative coding schemes are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)231-246
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Memory and Language
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


    • Coding schemes
    • Lexical decision
    • Orthographic similarity
    • Transposed letters
    • Vowel/consonant processing

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Can CANISO activate CASINO? Transposed-letter similarity effects with nonadjacent letter positions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this