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What are the letters e and é in a language with vowel reduction? the case of Catalan.

Marcet, A, Fernández-López, M, Baciero, A, Sesé, A and Perea, M, 2022. What are the letters e and é in a language with vowel reduction? the case of Catalan. Applied Psycholinguistics, 43 (1), 193 - 210.

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DOI: 10.1017/S0142716421000497


Although the Latin-based orthographies of most Western languages employ vowels with accent marks (e.g., é vs. e), extant models of letter and word recognition are agnostic as to whether these accented letters and their non-accented counterparts are represented by common or separate abstract units. Recent research in French with a masked priming alphabetic decision task was interpreted as favoring the idea that accented and non-accented vowels are represented by separate abstract orthographic units (orthographic account: é↛e and e↛é; Chetail & Boursain, 2019). However, a more parsimonious explanation is that salient (accented) vowels are less perceptually similar to non-salient (non-accented) vowels than vice versa (perceptual account: e→é, but é↛e; Perea et al., 2021a; Tversky, 1977). To adjudicate between the two accounts, we conducted a masked priming alphabetic decision experiment in Catalan, a language with a complex orthography-to-phonology mapping for non-accented vowels (e.g., e→/e/, /ə/, / /). Results showed faster responses in the identity than in the visually similar condition for accented targets (é-É < e-É), but not for non-accented targets (e-E = é-E). Neither of the above accounts can fully capture this pattern. We propose an explanation based on the rapid activation of both orthographic and phonological codes.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:masked priming; letter units; diacritical marks; visual similarity
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36728
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:08 Mar 2022 13:45
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:33


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