Position-sensitive letter substitution and letter transposition effects on masked orthographic priming


The present study examined effects of orthographic neighbor similarity on visual word recognition when primes are forward masked. Experiments 1a-b presented orthographically similar primes and targets, and the position of letter substitution occurred either in the initial or final position of a morphologically simple prime (feat-BEAT, beam-BEAT) or in the stem of an inflected prime (feats-BEAT, beaming-BEAT). Analyses yielded reliable position effects on lexical decision latencies/accuracy and significant correlations between orthographic facilitation and (total and shared) orthographic neighborhood size of the target word. In experiments 2a-b, letter transposition (within a morpheme) in morphologically complex primes reduced facilitation on masked morphologically related targets (betaing-BEAT) relative to intact morphological primes. However, final-position substitution neighbor primes with (bemaed-BEAT) and without (beamed-BEAT) transposition did not differ. We discuss the implication of these position effects and decrements due to transposition without, but not with, substitution for models of orthographic and morphological processing.

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