The importance of the first letter in children’s parafoveal preprocessing in English: Is it phonologically or orthographically driven?

Sara V. Milledge, Simon P. Liversedge, Hazel I. Blythe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

For both adult and child readers of English, the first letter of a word plays an important role in lexical identification. Using the boundary paradigm during silent sentence reading, we examined whether the first-letter bias in parafoveal preprocessing is phonologically or orthographically driven and whether this differs between skilled adult and beginner child readers. Participants read sentences that contained either a correctly spelled word in preview (identity; e.g., “circus”), a preview letter string that maintained the phonology but manipulated the orthography of the first letter (P + O− preview; e.g., “sircus”), or a preview letter string that manipulated both the phonology and the orthography of the first letter (P− O− preview; e.g., “wircus”). There was a cost associated with manipulating the first letter of the target words in preview for both adults and children. Critically, during first-pass reading, both adult and child readers displayed similar reading times between P + O− and P− O− previews. This shows that the first-letter bias is driven by orthographic encoding and that the first letter’s orthographic code in preview is crucial for efficient, early processing of phonology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427–442
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume48
Issue number5
Early online date28 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The importance of the first letter in children’s parafoveal preprocessing in English: Is it phonologically or orthographically driven?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this