[PS-2.2] Orthographic consistency effect: Evidence at the phonemic level

Furgoni, A. 1 , Stoehr, A. 1 , Duême, F. 1 & Martin, C. 1, 2

1 BCBL - Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language
2 Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for Science

The orthographic consistency effect (OCE) demonstrates that people recognize consistently-spelled words faster than inconsistently-spelled words. Previous studies located the OCE at the rhyme level and focused on languages with opaque orthographies [1;2;3;4].
This study investigates whether the OCE is present at the phonemic level in languages with opaque and transparent phoneme-to-grapheme mappings. Thirty French L1 (opaque) and thirty Spanish L1 (transparent) speakers participated in an auditory lexical decision task containing words and pseudowords with either only consistently-spelled phonemes or several inconsistently-spelled phonemes.
A significant interaction between Consistency, Language and Lexicality (?= -11.288, SE= 5.241, p= -0.032) demonstrates that the OCE is present in both languages, but to a different extent. In Spanish, the OCE is detected only in words, whereas in French, pseudowords are affected more than words. This suggests that Spanish speakers prefer to use the sub-lexical route more than French speakers during language processing. In contrast to previous studies, we found evidence for the OCE in pseudowords, suggesting that the OCE is observable not only at the lexical level. These results give interesting perspectives on research on phonemic representations in dyslexics. A further step is finding whether the OCE can be observed also in language production [1,3].