The specific-word frequency effect: Implications for the representation of homophones in speech production

Alfonso Caramazza, Albert Costa, Michele Miozzo, Yanchao Bi
2001 Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition  
In a series of experiments, the authors investigated whether naming latencies for homophones (e.g., /nAn/) are a function of specific-word frequency (i.e., the frequency of nun) or a function of cumulativehomophone frequency (i.e., the sum of the frequencies of nun and none). Specific-word but not cumulative-homophone frequency affected picture-naming latencies. This result was obtained in 2 languages (English and Chinese). An analogous finding was obtained in a translation task, where
more » ... speakers produced the English names of visually presented Spanish words. Control experiments ruled out that these results are an artifact of orthographic or articulatory factors, or of visual recognition. The results argue against the hypothesis that homophones share a common word-form representation, and support instead a model in which homophones have fully independent representations.
doi:10.1037//0278-7393.27.6.1430 pmid:11713878 fatcat:np4owvhzjncbna2m5ian3mvlv4