Reading homographs: Orthographic, phonologic, and semantic dynamics

Lawrence R. Gottlob, Stephen D. Goldinger, Gregory O. Stone, Guy C. Van Orden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Reading processes were compared across 3 word types: homographs (separate pronunciations and meanings, such as lead), homonyms (singular pronunciations but separate meanings, such as spring), and control words (e.g., clock). In Experiment 1, naming reaction times were significantly slower to homographs than to all other words. Experiments 2 and 3 used an association judgment task, with referent words related to the dominant or subordinate meanings of homonyms and homographs. In Experiment 2, homonyms and homographs were presented 1st, followed by disambiguating associates. In Experiment 3, presentation order was reversed. For homographs, performance costs always occurred for subordinate meanings. For homonyms, these costs vanished when context was provided by the preceding associates. The data underscore the priority of phonologic information in word meaning access and suggest that low-and high-level constraints combine to shape word perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-574
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Reading homographs: Orthographic, phonologic, and semantic dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this