Are the processes responsible for reading aloud single well-formed letter strings under contextual control? Despite the widespread contention that the answer to this question is "yes," it has been remarkably difficult to provide a compelling demonstration to that effect. In a speeded naming experiment, skilled readers read aloud exception words (such as PINT) that are atypical in terms of their spelling sound correspondences and nonwords (such as FLAD) that appeared in a predictable sequence. Subjects took longer to name both words and nonwords when the item on the preceding trial was from the other lexical category, relative to when the preceding item was from the same lexical category. This finding is consistent with the relative contributions of lexical and sublexical knowledge being controlled. We note a number of different ways that this control could arise and suggest some directions for future research.
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