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Probabilistic Cues to Grammatical Category in English Orthography and Their Influence During Reading

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Journal number1
Volume13
Number of pages21
Pages73-93
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We investigated probabilistic cues to grammatical category (noun vs. verb) in English orthography. These cues are located in both the beginnings and endings of wordsas identified in our large-scale corpus analysis. Experiment 1 tested participants' sensitivity to beginning and ending cues while making speeded grammatical classifications. Experiment 2 tested sensitivity to these cues during lexical decisions. For both tasks, words with consistent ending cues (with respect to grammatical category) were processed more quickly and with lower error rates than words with inconsistent ending cues. However, for beginnings, consistent cues resulted in lower errors but no differences in response times. The data reported here point to the multifaceted nature of grammatical category representation and indicate that probabilistic orthographic cues relating to grammatical category have a clear influence on lexical processing particularly when these cues are located at the end of the word.