, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 645-660
Date: 24 Aug 2007

On the use of lexical stress in reading Spanish

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This paper investigates whether or not lexical stress is used for lexical access in Spanish. A lexical decision task and a masking priming procedure were used to compare correctly-versus-incorrectly stressed words (e.g., técla-TECLA vs. teclá-TECLA). SOA (Stimulus Onset Asynchrony) was manipulated at 33, 66, 100, and 143 ms. The results showed that congruent condition was easier, but in 143 ms SOA only. Furthermore, while congruent condition did not differ from a control identity condition (e.g., tecla-TECLA) incongruent condition was slower, but in 100 and 143 ms SOA only. All these results suggest that stress affects lexical access at a late stage of lexical access processing. Reading models should be re-designed in order to include lexical stress as another phonological code which is used for reading.