Processing phonological and semantic ambiguity: evidence from semantic priming at different SOAs.J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1992 Jan; 18(1):58-68.JE
Disambiguation of heterophonic and homophonic homographs was investigated in Hebrew using semantic priming. Ambiguous primes were followed by unambiguous targets at 100 ms, 250 ms, and 750 ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). Lexical decision for targets related to the dominant phonological alternatives of heterophonic homographs were facilitated at all SOAs. Targets related to subordinate alternatives were facilitated only at SOAs of 250 ms or longer. When the primes were homophonic homographs, semantic relationship facilitated lexical decision of targets at all SOAs regardless of the dominance of the meaning to which the targets were related. These data can be accounted for by assuming multiple lexical entries for heterophonic homographs, single lexical entries for homophonic homographs, and phonological mediation of accessing meanings. Language-specific factors probably account for the long-lasting activation of subordinate meanings.