When skilled readers make speeded categorization judgements about printed words, errors occur to homophones of real category exemplars. In Experiments 1 and 2, for example, subjects incorrectly accepted both the word STEAL (as a member of the category A METAL) and the nonword JEAP (as A VEHICLE) significantly more often than incorrect non-homophonic items matched in orthographic similarity to real exemplars. Experiment 3 demonstrated equivalent error rates for homophone targets differing from real exemplars by various types of single-letter change, but reduced error rates, especially for non-word homophones, when subjects were instructed to accept only correctly spelled instances. Experiments 4 and 5 established that the magnitude of the homophone effect is predicted by the degree of orthographic similarity between homophonic mates but not by spelling-sound regularity of the presented homophone. The results suggest that automatic phonological activation plays a major role in the comprehension of written words.
|Number of pages||39|
|Journal||The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 1994|