The processing advantage and disadvantage for homophones in lexical decision tasks

Yasushi Hino, Yuu Kusunose, Stephen J. Lupker, Debra Jared

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Studies using the lexical decision task with English stimuli have demonstrated that homophones are responded to more slowly than nonhomophonic controls. In contrast, several studies using Chinese stimuli have shown that homophones are responded to more rapidly than nonhomophonic controls. In an attempt to better understand the impact of homophony, we investigated homophone effects for Japanese kanji words in a lexical decision task. The results indicated that, whereas a processing disadvantage emerged for homophones when they have only a single homophonic mate (as in the English experiments), a processing advantage occurred for homophones when they have multiple homophonic mates (as in the Chinese experiments). On the basis of these results, we discuss the nature of the processes that may be responsible for producing the processing advantages and disadvantages for homophones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-551
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 29



  • Homophone advantage
  • Homophone disadvantage
  • Lexical decision task
  • The number of homophonic mates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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