Form-priming effects in nonword naming

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Form-priming effects from sublexical (syllabic or segmental) primes in masked priming can be accounted for in two ways. One is the sublexical pre-activation view according to which segments are pre-activated by the prime, and at the time the form-related target is to be produced, retrieval/assembly of those pre-activated segments is faster compared to an unrelated situation. However, it has also been argued that form-priming effects from sublexical primes might be due to lexical pre-activation. When the sublexical prime is presented, it activates all form-related words (i.e., cohorts) in the lexicon, necessarily including the form-related target, which—as a consequence—is produced faster than in the unrelated case. Note, however, that this lexical pre-activation account makes previous pre-lexical activation of segments necessary. This study reports a nonword naming experiment to investigate whether or not sublexical pre-activation is involved in masked form priming with sublexical primes. The results demonstrated a priming effect suggesting a nonlexical effect. However, this does not exclude an additional lexical component in form priming.

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