Phonological computation and missing vowels: Mapping lexical involvement in reading

Ram Frost
1995 Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition  
The role of assembled versus addressed phonology in reading was investigated by examining the size of the minimal phonological unit that is recovered in the reading process. Readers named words in unpointed Hebrew that had many or few missing vowels in their printed forms. Naming latencies were monotonically related to the number of missing vowels. Missing vowels had no effects on lexical decision latencies. These results support a strong phonological model of naming and suggest that even in
more » ... est that even in deep orthographies phonology is not retrieved from the mental lexicon as a holistic lexical unit but is initially computed by applying letter-to-phoneme computation rules. The partial phonological representation is shaped and completed through top-down activation. Although the process of reading acquisition ultimately involves the extraction of meaning from print, there is a fairly general agreement that at some stage this process requires the recovery of phonologic information from the orthographic structure. How exactly the printed form is converted into phonology is a topic for current debate. Two possible mechanisms have been suggested to account for the reading process. The first mechanism assembles phonology from print by applying a set of conversion rules (or through weighted connections in a neural network) that transform letters, letter clusters, Or graphemes into phonemes or phonemic clusters. The assembly of phonology in this case is a computational process that involves a set of transformations that connect minimal orthographic and minimal phonologic units (letters and phonemes in the case of alphabetic orthographies like English; letters and syllables in the case of syllabic orthographies like Japanese; graphemes and morphemes in the case of logographic orthographies like Chinese).
doi:10.1037//0278-7393.21.2.398 pmid:7738507 fatcat:x6fuxay7fve6xbrr22gpzmd3fe