In two experiments, the relative contribution of consonants and vowels in word identification in English was assessed in a paradigm in which the onset of one or two letters was delayed at the beginning of a fixation in reading. In both experiments, delaying the onset of a consonant for 30 ms at the beginning of an eye fixation increased the gaze duration on the target word more than delaying the onset of a vowel did. With 60-ms delays, delaying letter onset was equally disruptive for consonants and vowels. The results suggest that there is a temporal distinction between the contribution of consonants and vowels during the reading of English: consonants play a more important role than vowels at the early stage of word identification.
- Word identification