Typing is writing: Linguistic properties modulate typing execution


  • Pinet Svetlana
  • Ziegler Johannes
  • F.-X. Alario


  • Mixed models
  • Syllable boundary
  • Sound-spelling consistency
  • Bigram frequency
  • IKI

document type



Typing is becoming our preferred way of writing. Perhaps because of the relative recency of this change, very few studies have investigated typing from a psycholin-guistic perspective. In addition, and despite obvious similarities between typing and handwriting, typing research has remained rather disconnected from handwriting research. The current study aimed at bridging this gap by evaluating how typing is affected by a number of psycholinguistic variables defined at the word, syllable and letter levels. In a writing-to-dictation task, we assessed typing performance by measuring response accuracy, onset latencies —an index of response preparation and initiation —and interkeystroke intervals (IKIs) —an index of response execution processes. The lexical and sub-lexical factors revealed a composite pattern of effects. Lexical frequency improved response latencies and accuracy, while bigram frequency speeded up IKIs. Sound-spelling consistency improved latencies, but had an inhibitory effect on IKI. IKIs were also longer at syllable boundaries. Together, our findings can be fit within a framework for typed production that combines the previously developed theories of spelling and typing execution. At their interface, we highlight the need for an intermediate hierarchical stage, perhaps in the form of a graphemic buffer for typing.

more information