Lexical competition in a non-Roman, syllabic script

an inhibitory neighbour priming effect in Japanese Katakana

Mariko Nakayama*, Christopher R. Sears, Stephen J. Lupker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Previous masked priming studies have reported that lexical decision latencies are slower when a word target is primed by a higher-frequency neighbour (e.g., blue-BLUR) than when it is primed by an unrelated word of equivalent frequency (e.g., care-BLUR). These results suggest that lexical competition plays an important role in visual word identification in Indo-European languages such as English, French, and Dutch, consistent with activationbased accounts of lexical processing. The present research, using Japanese Katakana script, a syllabic script, demonstrates that lexical decision latencies were slower when targets were primed by word neighbour primes but not when targets were primed by nonword neighbour primes. Both results have clear parallels with previous research using Indo-European languages and therefore suggest that lexical competition is also an important component of word recognition processes in languages that do not employ the Roman alphabet.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1136-1160
    Number of pages25
    JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Masked priming
    • Neighbour priming
    • Orthographic neighbours
    • Word recognition

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