The effect of visually masked syllable primes on the naming latencies of words and pictures
To investigate the role of the syllable in Dutch speech production, five experiments were carried out to examine the effect of visually masked syllable primes on the naming latencies for written words and pictures. Targets had clear syllable boundaries and began with a CV syllable (e.g., ka.no) or a CVC syllable (e.g., kak.tus), or had ambiguous syllable boundaries and began with a CV[C] syllable (e.g., ka[pp]er). In the syllable match condition, bisyllabic Dutch nouns or verbs were preceded by primes that were identical to the target’s first syllable. In the syllable mismatch condition, the prime was either shorter or longer than the target’s first syllable. A neutral condition was also included. None of the experiments showed a syllable priming effect. Instead, all related primes facilitated the naming of the targets. It is concluded that the syllable does not play a role in the process of phonological encoding in Dutch. Because the amount of facilitation increased with increasing overlap between prime and target, the priming effect is accounted for by a segmental overlap hypothesis.
Publication typeJournal article