The influence of number of syllables on word skipping during reading revisited

  • Denis DriegheEmail author
  • Aaron Veldre
  • Gemma Fitzsimmons
  • Jane Ashby
  • Sally Andrews


Fitzsimmons and Drieghe (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 736–741, 2011) showed that a monosyllabic word was skipped more often than a disyllabic word during reading. This finding was interpreted as evidence that syllabic information was extracted from the parafovea early enough to influence word skipping. In the present, large-scale replication of this study, in which we additionally measured the reading, vocabulary, and spelling abilities of the participants, the effect of number of syllables on word skipping was not significant. Moreover, a Bayesian analysis indicated strong evidence for the absence of the effect. The individual differences analyses replicate previous observations showing that spelling ability uniquely predicts word skipping (but not fixation times) because better spellers skip more often. The results indicate that high-quality lexical representations allow the system to reach an advanced stage in the word-recognition process of the parafoveal word early enough to influence the decision of whether or not to skip the word, but this decision is not influenced by number of syllables.


Open practices statement

Our data and R scripts used for the analyses are available on the Open Science Framework at


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis Drieghe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aaron Veldre
    • 2
  • Gemma Fitzsimmons
    • 1
  • Jane Ashby
    • 3
  • Sally Andrews
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Central Michigan UniversityMount PleasantUSA

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