The Role of Letter Frequency on Eye Movements in Sentential Pseudoword Reading

Abstract

For a language learner, any new word is a pseudoword. A pseudoword is a string of of letters or phonemes that sounds like an existing word in a language, though it has no meaning in the lexicon. On the other hand, speakers are well aware of permissible phonemes, their frequencies and collocations in their language due to the phonotactics inherent in the language. For example, saktal is a pseudoword in Turkish, whereas szyan is not, due to Turkish phonotactics. This study investigates the relationship between pseudoword letter formation and eye movement characteristics in reading. In particular, we examine the role of Turkish vowel harmony, middle-word consonant collocation, and word-initial and word-final consonants on eye movements with adult native speakers reading sentences that involve predesigned Turkish pseudowords. The results of an experiment with 34 participants are indicative of the role of pseudoword formation on a set of eye movement parameters.


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