Naming pseudowords in Spanish: Effects of syllable frequency

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Three naming experiments were conducted to examine the role of the first and the second syllable during speech production in Spanish. Facilitative effects of syllable frequency with disyllabic words have been reported in Dutch and Spanish (Levelt & Wheeldon, 1994; Perea & Carreiras, 1998). In both cases, the syllable frequency effect was independent of—and additive to—the effect of word frequency. However, Levelt and Wheeldon (1994) found that words ending in a high-frequency syllable were named faster than words ending in a low-frequency syllable, whereas Perea and Carreiras (1998) found a facilitative effect of syllable frequency for the initial syllable. In Experiments 1–2, we manipulated the frequency of the first and the second syllable of disyllabic CV.CV pseudowords. In Experiment 3, participants named CVC disyllabic pseudowords for which only the frequency of the first syllable was manipulated. The experiments showed a facilitative effect of frequency of the first syllable. The findings are discussed in terms of the current models of speech production.

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