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Greener Journal of  Art and Humanities Vol. 5 (1), pp. 001-006, March 2015

ISSN: 2276-7819 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 090114343



Phonological mediation in language processing: An investigation into homophone effect on broad and specific (narrow) categorisation tasks


Ignatius Isaac Dambudzo


Zimbabwe Open University, PO Box MP1119, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe


The study investigated and compared homophone effect in a semantic categorisation task involving broad and specific categories. The Open University DD303 Psychology Course students were participants. Results confirmed Van Orden’s homophone effect on specific categories and more false positive errors on homophones. There was some interaction between homophony and category size. Homophone effect on specific category was due to priming. Longer response times confirmed the presence of homophone confusions caused by phonological mediation in language comprehension. Category size mediated homophone effect. Interaction between homophony and category size was limited to spelling controls. The more specific the category, the greater the homophone effect on language comprehension.  Future studies could focus on homophone effect in categorisation tasks involving broad and specific categories controlled for frequency.


Keywords: homophone, category, language, semantic, specific categories, broad categories, phonological mediation, priming.


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