Lexical and Nonlexical Phonological Priming in Reading Aloud

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Five homophone priming experiments were reported in which the lexicality of primes and targets were varied, so that primes and targets were either nonword homophones (keff–keph), word homophones (brake–break), pseudohomophones (brayk–braik), or of mixed lexicality (brake–brayk and brayk–break). Results showed that naming of targets was facilitated by a phonologically identical prime only when a word was in the prime–target pairing. Simulations of these data using the dual-route cascaded model of reading (e.g., M. Coltheart, B. Curtis, P. Atkins, & M. Haller, 1993) were also reported. These results are evidence against the view that there is a critical early stage in the process of visual word recognition in which words are represented in purely phonological form, and they are evidence for the view that knowledge of orthography and phonology is represented locally in the reading system.

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