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The Role of Semantics in Spanish Word Recognition: an Insight from Lexical Decision and Categorization Tasks

Cristina Izura / Natividad Hernández-Muñoz
Published Online: 2017-10-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0025

Abstract

This study examines the factors affecting word recognition in a language with a consistent system to map letters into sounds; Spanish. The influence of semantics on the recognition of words in languages with inconsistent mappings, such as English, is well documented. Not much is known for other languages. A lexical decision task and two category verification tasks with varying levels of semantic complexity were used. In contrast to English, none of the semantic variables entered into the analyses had a significant impact on lexical decision latencies or errors. Imageability showed an influence on responses to both category verification tasks while the effect of connectivity was marginally significant in the category verification task with the greatest semantic complexity. Results indicate that word recognition decisions can be made without the involvement of central components of the semantic system. The role of semantics in word recognition in languages with consistent spelling systems will be discussed.

Keywords: imageability; connectivity; number of associates; age of acquisition; word recognition

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About the article

Received: 2014-10-10

Accepted: 2017-07-20

Published Online: 2017-10-31

Published in Print: 2017-10-26


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 500–515, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0025.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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