The effects of priming by ambiguous, auditorily presented word primes were examined. In related conditions, primes were followed by either associatively related or semantically related but associatively unrelated targets. When the targets were presented at prime offset (Experiment 1), priming effects were observed only for associatively related targets, independent of meaning frequency (i.e., whether the target was related to the dominant or subordinate meaning of the ambiguous prime). When the targets were presented after a 700 ms delay (Experiment 2), however, priming effects were observed only for targets related to the prime's dominant meaning, regardless of the nature of the prime-target relation. These results raise the strong possibility that previously reported differences in the nature of priming effects that had been ascribed to meaning frequency might actually be due to differences in associative strength. These results are discussed in terms of Fodor's (1983; 1990) "anti-semantic" modularity view.
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