Does consonant–vowel skeletal structure play a role early in lexical processing? Evidence from masked priming
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PEREA, M., MARCET, A., & ACHA, J. (2018). Does consonant–vowel skeletal structure play a role early in lexical processing? Evidence from masked priming. Applied Psycholinguistics, 39(1), 169-186. doi:10.1017/S0142716417000431
Is the specific consonant–vowel (CV) letter combination of a word a basic source of information for lexical access in the early stages of processing? We designed two masked priming lexical decision experiments to respond to this question by directly examining the role of CV skeletal structure in written-word recognition. To that aim, each target word was preceded by a one-letter different nonword prime that kept the same CV skeletal structure or not. We also included an identity prime as a control. Results showed faster word identification times in the CV congruent condition than in the CV incongruent condition when a consonant was replaced from the target (paesaje–PAISAJE < parsaje–PAISAJE), but not when it was a vowel (alusno–ALUMNO = alueno–ALUMNO). This dissociation poses problems for those accounts based on an early activation of the CV skeletal structure during lexical processing. Instead, this pattern of data favors the view that it is the word's consonant skeleton rather than the CV skeletal structure that is the key element in the early phases of word processing. We discuss the theoretical and methodological implications of these findings.