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Phonological mediation in reading: a theoretical framework

Özkan, Ayşegül
A set of perceptual and cognitive processes at various levels, from low-level visual perception to high-level discourse comprehension, underlie reading. Accordingly, research on reading focuses on different aspects of reading ranging from prelexical processing and word recognition to syntactic parsing, sentence comprehension, and discourse comprehension with various technical and theoretical tools including behavioral experiments, neuroimaging techniques, and computational models of eye movement controlling, which reflect the variety of the levels involved during reading. The focus of the current study was the early prelexical and lexical processing and postlexical integration processes involved in the word recognition process during text reading from a perspective of eye-movement control modeling. A framework for a computational model of guidance by attentional gradient (GAG) eye-movement control model that includes the role of phonological processes during reading was presented. The assumptions of the framework were tested by two sets of linear mixed models (LMMs) with data from Turkish Reading Corpus: (1) an LMM of fixation speech interval (FSI), and three LMMs of eye movement measures among oral reading data, and (2) three LMMs of eye movement measures among silent reading data. The results of the LMMs were compatible with the canonical findings frequently reported in the literature. Influences of the neighboring words on eye movement measures in the current study were mixed. The results indicated an effect of prelexical phonological processing on eye movements and the involvement of phonological representations on postlexical processing.