Six cross-modal priming experiments were conducted that investigated whether representations of spoken words in memory (base word) may be activated by similar-sounding nonwords. The experiments demonstrated that nonwords that differed in one or two linguistic features from a base word resulted in significant priming effects for semantic associates to the base word. Nonwords that deviated by more linguistic features from a base word showed no priming effects. Finally, nonwords in which either the medial or initial portions were altered showed comparable priming effects. This result held for a set of two-syllable words and for a group of longer words (at least three syllables). A model of auditory word recognition is discussed in which partial acoustic-phonetic information in a spoken word is mapped onto a lexical representation in memory based on goodness-of-fit. It is argued that this mapping process affords no particular status to word-initial phonemes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Artificial Intelligence