List context effects in reading Italian words and nonwords: Can the word frequency effect be eliminated?

Despina Paizi, Cristina Burani, Pierluigi Zoccolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has been suggested that when words and nonwords are presented mixed in the same blocks in transparent scripts the word frequency effect can be eliminated. This is either because in reading mixed blocks the lexical route is deemphasised in favour of the nonlexical route (route deemphasis) or because a homogenisation of reaction times occurs for words and nonwords by adjustment of a time criterion for articulation (time criterion). In five experiments using different list manipulations and experimental designs, we assessed the effects of frequency and length in reading aloud words and nonwords in the Italian transparent orthography. The effect of word frequency remained constant irrespective of context manipulation and nonword characteristics. As reading nonwords may be easier in Italian than in English, control over reading processing may be unnecessary for Italian readers. The results are discussed with respect to current computational models of reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1065
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Length
  • List context
  • Orthographic transparency
  • Word frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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