Investigating the locus of transposed-phoneme effects using cross-modal priming


  • Dufour Sophie
  • Mirault Jonathan
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Transposed-phoneme effects
  • Cross-modal priming
  • Speech processing

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In this study, we examined whether the facilitatory priming effect found when auditory primes and targets are related by a phoneme transposition (e.g., /ʀͻb/-/bͻʀ/: Dufour & Grainger, 2019, 2020) is also observed under cross-modal presentation. In two experiments using the same materials as in the previous studies, we found no evidence for a facilitatory priming effect when the targets were presented visually rather than auditorily. On the contrary, an inhibitory priming effect was found when both unrelated words (Experiment 1; e.g., /mas/-/bͻR/) and vowel overlap words (Experiment 2; e.g., /vͻl/-/bͻʀ/) were used as control conditions. In Experiment 2, this inhibitory effect was found to be equivalent in size whether the target words were of higher or lower frequency than the prime words (e.g. /ʀͻb/-/bͻʀ/ vs. /bͻʀ/-/ʀͻb/). We interpret this pattern of effects as reflecting the greater impact of word-level inhibition in cross-modal priming, and the parallel influence of prime-target relative frequency on bottom-up phoneme-to-word facilitation and word-level inhibition. Therefore, the facilitatory priming effect previously observed with auditory primes and targets would mainly reflect bottom-up activation of the target word representation during prime word processing.

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