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A masked nonword prime generated by transposing adjacent inner letters in a word (e.g., jugde) facilitates the recognition of the target word (JUDGE) more than a prime in which the relevant letters are replaced by different letters (e.g., junpe). This transposed-letter (TL) priming effect has been widely interpreted as evidence that the coding of letter position is flexible, rather than precise. Although the TL priming effect has been extensively investigated in the domain of visual word recognition using the lexical decision task, very few studies have investigated this empirical phenomenon in reading aloud. In the present study, we investigated TL priming effects in reading aloud words and nonwords and found that these effects are of equal magnitude for the two types of items. We take this result as support for the view that the TL priming effect arises from noisy perception of letter order within the prime prior to the mapping of orthography to phonology.
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