Spelling-to-sound correspondences affect acronym recognition processes

PLAYFOOT, David and IZURA, Cristina (2015). Spelling-to-sound correspondences affect acronym recognition processes. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68 (5), 1026-1039.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/17470218.2014.977304


A large body of research has examined the factors which affect the speed with which words are recognised in lexical decision tasks. Nothing has yet been reported concerning the important factors in differentiating acronyms (e.g. BBC, HIV, NASA) from non-words. It appears that this task poses little problem for skilled readers, in spite of the fact that acronyms have uncommon, even illegal, spellings in English. We used regression techniques to examine the role of a number of lexical and non-lexical variables known to be important in word processing in relation to lexical decision for acronym targets. Findings indicated that acronym recognition is affected by age of acquisition and imageability. In a departure from findings in word recognition,acronym recognition was not affected by frequency. Lexical decision responses for acronyms were also affected by the relationship between spelling and sound - a pattern not usually observed in word recognition. We argue that the complexity of acronym recognition means that the process draws phonological information in addition to semantics.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1080/17470218.2014.977304
Depositing User: David Playfoot
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 10:44
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 00:17
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8451

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