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Eye movements and word skipping during reading: effects of word length and predictability

By Keith Rayner, Timothy J. Slattery, Denis Drieghe and Simon P. Liversedge

Abstract

Eye movements were monitored as subjects read sentences containing high- or low-predictable target words. The extent to which target words were predictable from prior context was varied: Half of the target words were predictable, and the other half were unpredictable. In addition, the length of the target word varied: The target words were short (4–6 letters), medium (7–9 letters), or long (10–12 letters). Length and predictability both yielded strong effects on the probability of skipping the target words and on the amount of time readers fixated the target words (when they were not skipped). However, there was no interaction in any of the measures examined for either skipping or fixation time. The results demonstrate that word predictability (due to contextual constraint) and word length have strong and independent influences on word skipping and fixation durations. Furthermore, because the long words extended beyond the word identification span, the data indicate that skipping can occur on the basis of partial information in relation to word identity

Topics: BF
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:181115
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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