Phoneme‐Order Encoding During Spoken Word Recognition: A Priming Investigation


  • Dufour Sophie
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Spoken word recognition
  • Phoneme order
  • Priming

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In three experiments, we examined priming effects where primes were formed by transposing the first and last phoneme of tri-phonemic target words (e.g., /byt/ as a prime for /tyb/). Auditory lexical decisions were found not to be sensitive to this transposed-phoneme priming manipulation in long-term priming (Experiment 1), with primes and targets presented in two separated blocks of stimuli and with unrelated primes used as control condition (/mul/-/tyb/), while a long-term repetition priming effect was observed (/tyb/-/tyb/). However, a clear transposed-phoneme priming effect was found in two short-term priming experiments (Experiments 2 and 3), with primes and targets presented in close temporal succession. The transposed-phoneme priming effect was found when unrelated prime-target pairs (/mul/-/tyb/) were used as control and more important when prime-target pairs sharing the medial vowel (/pys/-/tyb/) served as control condition, thus indicating that the effect is not due to vocalic overlap. Finally, in Experiment 3, a transposed-phoneme priming effect was found when primes sharing the medial vowel plus one consonant in an incorrect position with the targets (/byl/-/tyb/) served as control condition, and this condition did not differ significantly from the vowel-only condition. Altogether, these results provide further evidence for a role for position-independent phonemes in spoken word recognition, such that a pho-neme at a given position in a word also provides evidence for the presence of words that contain that phoneme at a different position.

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