Preview benefit in English spaced compounds

Cutter, Michael G., Drieghe, Denis and Liversedge, Simon Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8579-8546 (2014) Preview benefit in English spaced compounds. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40 (6). pp. 1778-1786. ISSN 0278-7393

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In an eye tracking experiment during reading we examined whether preview benefit could be observed from 2 words to the right of the currently fixated word if that word was the 2nd constituent of a spaced compound. The boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) was used to orthogonally manipulate whether participants saw an identity or nonword preview of the 1st (e.g., teddy) and 2nd constituent (e.g., bear) of a spaced compound located immediately beyond the boundary, respectively, words n + 1 and n + 2. Linear mixed-effects models revealed that participants gained an n + 2 preview benefit, such that they spent less time fixated on word n + 1 when given an identity preview of word n + 2. However, this effect was only observed if there was also an identity preview of word n + 1. Our findings suggest that the 2 constituent words of spaced compounds are processed as part of a larger lexical unit during natural reading.

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