Processing the in the Parafovea: Are Articles Skipped Automatically?

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Angele, B. and Rayner, K.

Journal: J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn

Volume: 39

Issue: 2

Pages: 649-662

eISSN: 1939-1285

DOI: 10.1037/a0029294

One of the words that readers of English skip most often is the definite article the. Most accounts of reading assume that in order for a reader to skip a word, it must have received some lexical processing. The definite article is skipped so regularly, however, that the oculomotor system might have learned to skip the letter string t-h-e automatically. We tested whether skipping of articles in English is sensitive to context information or whether it is truly automatic in the sense that any occurrence of the letter string the will trigger a skip. This was done using the gaze-contingent boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) to provide readers with false parafoveal previews of the article the. All experimental sentences contained a short target verb, the preview of which could be correct (i.e., identical to the actual subsequent word in the sentence; e.g., ace), a nonword (tda), or an infelicitous article preview (the). Our results indicated that readers tended to skip the infelicitous the previews frequently, suggesting that, in many cases, they seemed to be unable to detect the syntactic anomaly in the preview and based their skipping decision solely on the orthographic properties of the article. However, there was some evidence that readers sometimes detected the anomaly, as they also showed increased skipping of the pretarget word in the the preview condition.

This source preferred by Bernhard Angele

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Angele, B. and Rayner, K.

Journal: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION

Volume: 39

Issue: 2

Pages: 649-662

ISSN: 0278-7393

DOI: 10.1037/a0029294

This data was imported from Europe PubMed Central:

Authors: Angele, B. and Rayner, K.

Journal: Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition

Volume: 39

Issue: 2

Pages: 649-662

eISSN: 1939-1285

ISSN: 0278-7393

One of the words that readers of English skip most often is the definite article the. Most accounts of reading assume that in order for a reader to skip a word, it must have received some lexical processing. The definite article is skipped so regularly, however, that the oculomotor system might have learned to skip the letter string t-h-e automatically. We tested whether skipping of articles in English is sensitive to context information or whether it is truly automatic in the sense that any occurrence of the letter string the will trigger a skip. This was done using the gaze-contingent boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) to provide readers with false parafoveal previews of the article the. All experimental sentences contained a short target verb, the preview of which could be correct (i.e., identical to the actual subsequent word in the sentence; e.g., ace), a nonword (tda), or an infelicitous article preview (the). Our results indicated that readers tended to skip the infelicitous the previews frequently, suggesting that, in many cases, they seemed to be unable to detect the syntactic anomaly in the preview and based their skipping decision solely on the orthographic properties of the article. However, there was some evidence that readers sometimes detected the anomaly, as they also showed increased skipping of the pretarget word in the the preview condition.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:55 on June 23, 2018.