The experiments reported here investigated whether the phonological properties of visually presented words routinely influence the process of lexical access. Recent models of developing reading suggest that the potential for such phonological effects may vary as a function of reading experience. Four experiments were conducted, two with adults and two with fourth-grade children. A masked priming procedure was employed, in which the critical measurement was the facilitation observed in the recognition of a target word when it was preceded by a briefly masked exposure of a phonologically identical stimulus. The results indicated no priming of a target word from a phonologically identical prime for the adult subjects. This was the case even for primes and targets that had a high degree of orthographic overlap. The children also showed little evidence for masked phonological priming, although there was some indication that individual differences may exist, with some children using phonological information and others not. In general, our results provide little support for the claim that the phonological attributes of words are standardly used to achieve lexical access.
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||Language and Cognitive Processes|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1998|