This study examined whether the context immediately succeeding a heterophonic-homographic word (ht-homographic) plays a role in ambiguity resolution during voiced reading of Hebrew. A pretest was designed to find the preferred alternatives of 12 ht-homographic words: 20 adult subjects completed truncated sentences, each ending with a homographic word, preceded by a context allowing for both of its alternatives to be read. Following the pretest, each word was embedded in four research conditions determined by post-homographic context (keeping preceding context constant): two adjacent revealing contexts, one supporting the preferred alternative and the other the un-preferred alternative; and two distant revealing contexts, one supporting the preferred alternative and the other the un-preferred alternative. Four lists of 12 sentences, each including the four conditions, were then read aloud by four groups of 20 adults. Results from a generalized linear mixed-model analysis showed that the immediately succeeding context affected the deciphering of un-preferred alternatives in voiced reading. An item analysis further showed that highly preferred alternatives were less prone to the immediately succeeding context effect than slightly preferred alternatives. We conclude that the context immediately succeeding a ht-homographic word plays a role in ambiguity resolution during voiced reading, through interactions with the word's lexical and syntactic characteristics.
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- ambiguity resolution
- context effect