INTRODUCTION In comparison to the voluminous semantic priming literature, the dossier on form-related priming effects is rather meagre. For every published experiment that examines how MAT primes CAT, there are many more that look at DOG priming CAT. In a traditional spreading activation framework, form-related priming effects seem both empirically and theoretically straightforward. Similarly spelled and similar-sounding words prime one another by means of activation spreading through common elements, and benefits are accordingly observed in speeded tasks such as naming and lexical decision (e.g. Hillinger, 1980; Meyer, Schvaneveldt, & Ruddy, 1974). Likewise, form priming facilitates perceptual identification (e.g. Evett & Humphreys, 1981; Humphreys, Evett, & Taylor, 1982; Slowiaczek, Nusbaum, & Pisoni, 1987) and retrieval or phonological encoding of words from episodic (e.g. Meyer, 1990) or semantic memory (e.g. Bowles & Poon, 1985). Perhaps because these effects have appeared rather transparent, theoretical and empirical efforts in the areas of lexical perception and production have not made much use of form-related priming as a research tool (e.g. Adams, 1979; Dell, 1986; Glushko, 1979; McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981; Seidenberg, 1985). In this paper, we will demonstrate that form-related priming has an important role to play both in the development of general accounts of lexical processing, and as a tool for the analysis of language comprehension and production.
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