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The Syllable Type and Token Frequency Effect in Naming Task  

Kwon, Youan (Multilingualism & Multiculturalism Research Center, Konkuk University)
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Korean Journal of Cognitive Science / v.25, no.2, 2014 , pp. 91-107 More about this Journal
The syllable frequency effect is defined as the inhibitory effect that words starting with high frequency syllable generate a longer lexical decision latency and a larger error rate than words starting with low frequency syllable do. Researchers agree that the reason of the inhibitory effect is the interference from syllable neighbors sharing a target's first syllable at the lexical level and the degree of the interference effect correlates with the number of syllable neighbors or stronger syllable neighbors which have a higher word frequency. However, although the syllable frequency can be classified as the syllable type and token frequency, previous studies in visual word recognition have used the syllable frequency without the classification. Recently Conrad, Carreiras, & Jacobs (2008) demonstrated that the syllable type frequency might reflect a sub-lexical processing level including matching from letters to syllables and the syllable token frequency might reflect competitions between a target and higher frequency words of syllable neighbors in the whole word lexical processing level. Therefore, the present study investigated their proposals using word naming tasks. Generally word naming tasks are more sensitive to sub-lexical processing. Thus, the present study expected a facilitative effect of high syllable type frequency and a null effect of high syllable token frequency. In Experiment 1, words starting with high syllable type frequency generated a faster naming latency than words starting with low syllable type frequency with holding syllable token frequency of them. In Experiment 2, high syllable token frequency also created a shorter naming time than low syllable token frequency with holding their syllable type frequency. For that reason, we rejected the propose of Conrad et al. and suggested that both type and token syllable frequency could relate to the sub-lexical processing.
syllable frequency effect; syllable type frequency; syllable token frequency; naming task;
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