Quantifying the reliance on different sublexical correspondences in German and English

Xenia Schmalz*, Eva Marinus, Serje Robidoux, Sallyanne Palethorpe, Anne Castles, Max Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The type of sublexical correspondences employed during non-word reading has been a matter of considerable debate in the past decades of reading research. Non-words may be read either via small units (graphemes) or large units (orthographic bodies). In addition, grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences may involve context-sensitive correspondences, such as pronouncing an "a" as /inverted c sign/ when preceded by a "w". Here, we use an optimisation procedure to explore the reliance on these three types of correspondences in non-word reading. In Experiment 1, we use vowel length in German to show that all three sublexical correspondences are necessary and sufficient to predict the participants' responses. We then quantify the degree to which each correspondence is used. In Experiment 2, we present a similar analysis in English, which is a more complex orthographic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-852
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2014


  • Optimisation
  • Reading
  • Sublexical processing


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