Date of Award

6-30-2016

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Robin K. Morris

Abstract

Visual word recognition is central to skilled silent reading. This project investigated the situation in which two words within a sentence share phonological information. Previous eye movement reading studies have made attempts to understand how prior exposure to a word could influence the speed of recognizing another phonologically and/or orthographically similar word. Results have been accounted for by different visual word recognition models which agree on the competition among similar words in the lexicon. However, a closer inspection revealed several concerns. First, there is little direct evidence demonstrating the across-word effect in normal reading. Second, the existing work in English often confounded the phonological repetition patterns and the concurrent orthographic repetition. Finally, conflicts arise between the existing evidence and the lexical competition models employed to account for it. This project consists of three eye movement reading experiments to explore the phonological repetition effects with and without orthographic repetition across words. Results are interpreted from the perspective of the Lexical Quality Hypothesis, which highlights the roles of phonology in different levels of reading processing.

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