Preview benefit in English spaced compounds

Michael G. Cutter, Denis Drieghe, Simon P. Liversedge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In an eye tracking experiment during reading we examined whether preview benefit could be observed from 2 words to the right of the currently fixated word if that word was the 2nd constituent of a spaced compound. The boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) was used to orthogonally manipulate whether participants saw an identity or nonword preview of the 1st (e.g., teddy) and 2nd constituent (e.g., bear) of a spaced compound located immediately beyond the boundary, respectively, words n + 1 and n + 2. Linear mixed-effects models revealed that participants gained an n + 2 preview benefit, such that they spent less time fixated on word n + 1 when given an identity preview of word n + 2. However, this effect was only observed if there was also an identity preview of word n + 1. Our findings suggest that the 2 constituent words of spaced compounds are processed as part of a larger lexical unit during natural reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1778-1786
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • parafoveal processing
  • multi-word units
  • spaced compounds
  • eye movements
  • preview benefit


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