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Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2012;65(11):2221-30. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2012.697176. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

The bigram trough hypothesis and the syllable number effect in lexical decision.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Durham, Queen's Campus, Thornaby-on-Tees, TS17 6BH, UK. s.j.muncer@durham.ac.uk

Abstract

There has been an increasing volume of evidence supporting the role of the syllable in various word processing tasks. It has, however, been suggested that syllable effects may be caused by orthographic redundancy. In particular, it has been proposed that the presence of bigram troughs at syllable boundaries cause what are seen as syllable effects. We investigated the bigram trough hypothesis as an explanation of the number of syllables effect for lexical decision in five-letter words and nonwords from the British Lexicon Project. The number of syllables made a significant contribution to prediction of lexical decision times along with word frequency and orthographic similarity. The presence of a bigram trough did not. For nonwords, the number of syllables made a significant contribution to prediction of lexical decision times only for nonwords with relatively long decision times. The presence of a bigram trough made no contribution. The evidence presented suggests that the bigram trough cannot be an explanation of the syllable number effect in lexical decision. A comparison of the results from words and nonwords is interpreted as providing some support for dual-route models of reading.

PMID:
22804754
DOI:
10.1080/17470218.2012.697176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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