The Cross-Script Length Effect

Further Evidence Challenging PDP Models of Reading Aloud

Kathleen Rastle*, Jelena Havelka, Taeko N. Wydell, Max Coltheart, Derek Besner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The interaction between length and lexical status is one of the key findings used in support of models of reading aloud that postulate a serial process in the orthography-to-phonology translation (B. S. Weekes, 1997). However, proponents of parallel models argue that this effect arises in peripheral visual or articulatory processes. The authors addressed this possibility using the special characteristics of the Serbian and Japanese writing systems. Experiment 1 examined length effects in Serbian when participants were biased to interpret phonologically bivalent stimuli in the alphabet in which they are words or in the alphabet in which they are nonwords (i.e., the visual characteristics of stimuli were held constant across lexical status). Experiment 2 examined length effects in Japanese kana when words were presented in the kana script in which they usually appear or in the script in which they do not normally appear (i.e., the phonological characteristics of stimuli were held constant across lexical status). Results in both cases showed a larger length effect when stimuli were treated as nonwords and thus offered strong support to models of reading aloud that postulate a serial component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

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