More Words in the Neighborhood: Interference in Lexical Decision Due to Deletion Neighbors

By Davis, Colin J.; Taft, Marcus | Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, October 2005 | Go to article overview

More Words in the Neighborhood: Interference in Lexical Decision Due to Deletion Neighbors


Davis, Colin J., Taft, Marcus, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review


This article reports two lexical decision experiments that provide evidence for the automatic activation of deletion neighbors-that is, words that overlap with the presented word save for the deletion of one letter. Experiment 1 showed slower and less accurate no decisions for nonwords with deletion neighbors (e.g., come in scome), relative to control nonwords. Experiment 2 showed slower and less accurate yes decisions for words with higher frequency deletion neighbors, relative to control words. An important methodological implication of these results is that stimuli should be equated using a different definition of orthographic neighborhood from that which is currently the norm. The results also have significant theoretical implications for input coding schemes and the mechanisms underlying recognition of familiar words.

The effects of orthographic similarity on visual word identification have attracted considerable theoretical and empirical attention (for a review, see Andrews, 1997). The research suggests that processing of a written word results in the automatic activation of orthographically similar words (the word's orthographic neighbors) and that this can affect the speed of lexical access. Establishing which words make up the similarity neighborhood of a letter string can offer valuable insights into the structure of lexical representations and the nature of input coding. Theoretical input coding schemes make predictions about the similarity of pairs of letter strings and, hence, which words are likely to be activated following presentation of a target letter string. For example, some coding schemes predict that the words train and rain are coded in such a way that there is little or no overlap in their respective input codes; such schemes can be falsified if evidence is found that the representation of rain is automatically activated following presentation of train. Another key question concerns whether the activation of orthographic neighbors facilitates or inhibits word recognition; the answer to this question is critical for understanding the mechanisms underlying word identification. The present article reports two experiments that bear upon these issues.

The first lexical decision experiment in which orthographic neighborhood effects were investigated was reported by Coltheart, Davelaar, Jonasson, and Besner ( 1977). They examined the effect of a metric that they called N, which is a count of the number of substitution neighbors (SNs) of a letter string-the number of words sharing the same letter in all but one position. They found that N had no effect on the latency of yes responses, but that no responses to large-TV nonwords were slower than those to small-iV nonwords. A wealth of subsequent research has examined the effect on stimulus recognition of both the size of the similarity neighborhood and the frequency of the words contained in the neighborhood. Virtually all of this research has adopted the definition of orthographic neighbors employed by Coltheart et al (1977).

However, the TV metric is probably only an approximate measure of the size of a word's (or a nonword's) similarity neighborhood. The first indication of this was provided by evidence of transposed letter similarity effects (e.g., Andrews, 1996; Chambers, 1979). A transposition neighbor (TN) of a letter string is a word that is identical save for the transposition of two adjacent letters. The confusability of TN pairs such as clam and calm suggests that the definition of a letter string's neighborhood should be broadened to include not just words that can be formed by letter substitution, but also words formed by letter transpositions.

In this article, we present evidence for a further broadening of the similarity neighborhood to include words formed by letter deletions. We define a deletion neighbor (DN) of a word to be a letter string that differs from that word by the deletion of a single letter; for example, the DNs of plane are plan, pane, and lane. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

More Words in the Neighborhood: Interference in Lexical Decision Due to Deletion Neighbors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.