Skip to main content
Log in

Homophone effects in deaf readers: evidence from lexical decision

  • Published:
Reading and Writing Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The current study examined the nature of deaf readers’ phonological processing during online word recognition, and how this compares to similar effects in hearing individuals. Unlike many previous studies on phonological activation, we examined whether deaf readers activated phonological representations for words as opposed to pseudohomophones. Both hearing and deaf adults performed lexical decisions on homophones and control words in the context of either pseudoword foils (e.g., CLANE) or pseudohomophone foils (e.g., BRANE). As expected, hearing readers responded more slowly to homophones than to control words in both non-word contexts, reflecting phonological activation during reading. In contrast, deaf readers responded more slowly to homophones than to control words in the pseudohomophone foil context, but not in the pseudoword foil context. This finding suggests that deaf readers are able to activate phonological representations; however the nature of these representations appears to be more coarse-grained in deaf readers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Baayen, R. H., Piepenbrock, R., & van Rijn, H. (1993). The CELEX lexical database (CD-ROM). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania. Linguistic Data Consortium.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beech, J. R., & Harris, M. (1997). The prelingually deaf young reader: A case of reliance on direct lexical access? Journal of Research in Reading, 20, 105–121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colin, S., Magnan, A., Ecalle, J., & Leybaert, J. (2007). Relation between deaf children’s phonological skills in kindergarten and word recognition performance in first grade. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 139–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Coltheart, M., Davelaar, E., Jonasson, J. F., & Besner, D. (1977). Access to the internal lexicon. In S. Dornic (Ed.), Attention and Performance VI (pp. 535–555). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Conrad, R. (1979). The deaf schoolchild. London: Harper and Row.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davelaar, E., Coltheart, M., Besner, D., & Jonasson, J. T. (1978). Phonological recoding and lexical access. Memory and Cognition, 6, 391–402.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Desroches, A. S., Joanisse, M. F., & Robertson, E. K. (2006). Specific phonological impairments in dyslexia revealed by eyetracking. Cognition, 100, B32–B42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dillon, C. M., & Pisoni, D. B. (2006). Non-word repetition and reading skills in children who are deaf and have cochlear implants. The Volta Review, 106, 121–145.

    Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, J. D., Pexman, P. M., Goodyear, B. G., & Chambers, C. G. (2005). An fMRI investigation of strategies for word recognition. Cognitive Brain Research, 24, 648–662.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ehri, L. C. (1998). Grapheme-phoneme knowledge is essential for learning to read words in English. In J. L. Metsala & L. C. Ehri (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 3–40). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fagan, M. K., Pisoni, D. B., Horn, D. L., & Dillon, C. M. (2007). Neuropsychological correlates of vocabulary, reading, and working memory in deaf children with cochlear implants. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12, 461–471.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geers, A. E. (2003). Predictors of reading skill development in children with early cochlear implantation. Ear and Hearing, 24, 59S–68S.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goldin-Meadow, S., & Mayberry, M. I. (2001). How do profoundly deaf children learn to read? Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16, 222–229.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hanson, V. L. (1989). Phonology and reading: Evidence from profoundly deaf readers. In D. Shankweiler & I. Y. Liberman (Eds.), Phonology and reading disability: Solving and reading puzzle (pp. 69–89). Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hanson, V. L., & Fowler, C. A. (1987). Phonological coding in word reading: Evidence from hearing and deaf readers. Memory & Cognition, 15, 199–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hanson, V. L., Goodell, E. W., & Perfetti, C. A. (1991). Tongue-twister effects in the silent reading of hearing and deaf college students. Journal of Memory and Language, 30, 319–330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jared, D., Levy, B. A., & Rayner, K. (1999). The role of phonology in activation of word meanings during reading: Evidence from proofreading and eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 128, 219–264.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leybaert, J. (1993). Reading in the deaf: The roles of phonological codes. In M. Marschark & M. D. Clark (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on deafness (pp. 269–309). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leybaert, J., & Alegria, J. (1993). Is word processing involuntary in deaf children? British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 11, 1–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miller, P. (2005). What the processing of real words and pseudohomophones can tell us about the development of orthographic knowledge in prelingually deafened individuals. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11, 21–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00–4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perfetti, C. A., & Sandak, R. (2000). Reading optimally builds on spoken language: Implications for deaf readers. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 5, 32–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pexman, P. M., Lupker, S. J., & Jared, D. (2001). Homophone effects in lexical decision. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 27, 139–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pugh, K. R., Rexer, K., & Katz, L. (1994). Evidence of flexible coding in visual word recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 20, 807–825.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rubenstein, H., Lewis, S. S., & Rubenstein, M. A. (1971). Evidence for phonemic recoding in visual word recognition. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 10, 645–657.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Share, D. L. (1995). Phonological recoding and self-teaching: Sine qua non of reading acquisition. Cognition, 55, 151–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Swan, D., & Goswami, U. (1997). Phonological awareness deficits in developmental dyslexia and the phonological representations hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 66, 18–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Transler, C., & Reitsma, P. (2005). Phonological coding in reading of deaf children: Pseudohomophone effects in lexical decision. The British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 23, 525–542.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Unsworth, S. J., & Pexman, P. M. (2003). The impact of reader skill on phonological processing in visual word recognition. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56, 63–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • van Orden, G. C. (1987). A ROWS is a ROSE: Spelling, sound and reading. Memory and Cognition, 15, 181–198.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Werker, J. F., & Tees, R. C. (1987). Speech perception in severely disabled and average reading children. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 41, 48–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wiederholt, L., & Bryant, B. R. (2001). Gray oral reading test-fourth edition (GORT-4). Austin, TX: Pro-ed.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Deanna C. Friesen.

Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 2 Critical stimuli used in homophone lexical decision task

Appendix 2

Table 3 Non-word stimuli used in homophone lexical decision task

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Friesen, D.C., Joanisse, M.F. Homophone effects in deaf readers: evidence from lexical decision. Read Writ 25, 375–388 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-010-9275-6

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-010-9275-6

Keywords

Navigation