The present study addressed the issue of syllable activation during visual recognition of French words. In addition, it was investigated whether word orthographic information underlies syllable effects. To do so, words were selected according to the frequency of their first syllable (high versus low) and the frequency of the orthographic correspondence of this syllable (high versus low). For example, the high-frequency syllable /ã/ is frequently transcribed by the orthographic cluster an, but infrequently transcribed by han in French. A lexical decision task was performed by skilled readers (Experiment 1) and beginning readers in Grade 5 (Experiment 2). Results yielded an inhibitory effect of syllable frequency in both experiments. Moreover, the reliable interaction between syllable frequency and orthographic correspondence frequency indicated that the syllable frequency effect was influenced by orthographic characteristics of syllables. Finally, data showed that the interaction between phonological and orthographic variables was modified with reading experience. The results are discussed in current models of visual word recognition.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 30, 2008
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