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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 6/2021

01-09-2020 | Original Article

Does a mark make a difference? Visual similarity effects with accented vowels

Auteurs: Manuel Perea, Ana Baciero, Ana Marcet

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 6/2021

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Abstract

Visual similarity effects are pervasive in masked priming (e.g., T4BLE→TABLE; obiect→OBJECT; docurnent→DOCUMENT) and can be easily explained in terms of uncertainty regarding letter identity. However, recent research failed to show visual similarity effects for primes containing accented vowels (e.g., féliz-FELIZ behaves as fáliz-FELIZ [happy in Spanish]). This null effect has been taken to suggest that accented and non-accented vowels (e.g., é and e) activate completely distinct representations. However, priming effects are reinstated for non-accented vowels (e.g., facil-FÁCIL < fecil-FÁCIL [easy in Spanish]). Here we tested the hypothesis that the lack of priming effects for primes containing accented vowels is a simple consequence of the saliency of the accent marks. To investigate this issue, we conducted a masked priming lexical decision experiment in which we minimized the saliency of the diacritical marks by using primes containing the letter i (i.e., a letter that contains itself a glyph over the letter). We manipulated prime-target visual similarity and the presence/absence of an accented vowel in the prime (e.g., obieto-OBJETO vs. obaeto-OBJETO; obíeto-OBJETO vs. obáeto-OBJETO [object in Spanish]). Results showed a sizeable visual similarity effect regardless of whether the prime was accented or not. Therefore, these findings suggest that, at least in scripts like Spanish, there is nothing special about the processing of accented vs. unaccented vowels once the saliency of the diacritical marks is reduced.
Bijlagen
Alleen toegankelijk voor geautoriseerde gebruikers
Voetnoten
1
As occurs in other languages, some loan words in English can be written with the original diacritics (e.g., café, naïve).
 
2
We thank Steve Lupker for this suggestion.
 
3
The only exception is the Turkish alphabet created after Atatürk's Reforms in 1928, in which there is a dotted i (/i/) and a dotless ı (/ɯ/).
 
Literatuur
go back to reference Sacks, D. (2004). Letter perfect: The marvelous history of our alphabet from A to Z. Portland: Broadway Books. Sacks, D. (2004). Letter perfect: The marvelous history of our alphabet from A to Z. Portland: Broadway Books.
Metagegevens
Titel
Does a mark make a difference? Visual similarity effects with accented vowels
Auteurs
Manuel Perea
Ana Baciero
Ana Marcet
Publicatiedatum
01-09-2020
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 6/2021
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01405-1