The dual role of homophone dominance : why homophone intrusions on regular verb forms so often go unnoticed
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Mental lexicon. - Amsterdam
, p. 1-25
University of Antwerp
We investigated whether the effect of Homophone Dominance that has been reported for spelling errors on Dutch verb homophones (Sandra, Frisson, & Daems, 1999) also occurs in perception. This effect was indeed observed: participants in a proofreading experiment overlooked more homophone intrusions when the intruder was more dominant than the target form, irrespective of the inflectional ending. Participant groups whose grammatical awareness was better developed made fewer errors but also showed the effect of Homophone Dominance. The findings are explained in terms of a Computational and Similarity-Based Race model, in which a conscious and slow computational process in working memory, implementing the spelling rule, competes with an automatic and fast, frequency-sensitive process of lexical access. The presence of the effect in both spelling and reading explains why these errors on descriptively simple verb forms in Dutch are so persistent.