Effects of orthography in the picture-word task: Evidence from Japanese scripts

Alexandra S. Dylman, Mariko Kikutani, Miho Sasaki, Christopher Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The picture-word task presents participants with a number of pictured objects together with a written distractor word superimposed upon each picture, and their task is to name the depicted object while ignoring the distractor word. Depending on the specific picture and word combination, various effects, including the identity facilitation effect (e.g., DOG + dog) and the semantic interference effect (e.g., GOAT + cow), are often observed. The response patterns of the picture-word task in terms of naming latencies reflect the mechanisms underlying lexical selection in speech production. Research using this method, however, has typically focused on alphabetic languages, or involved bilingual populations, making it difficult to specifically investigate orthographic effects in isolation. In this paper, we report five experiments investigating the role of orthography in the picture-word task by varying distractor script (using the multiscriptal language Japanese, and pseudohomophonic spellings in English) across three different populations (Japanese monolinguals, Japanese-English bilinguals, and English monolinguals), investigating both the identity facilitation effect and the semantic interference effect. The results generally show that the magnitude of facilitation is affected by orthography even within a single language. The findings and specific patterns of results are discussed in relation to current theories on speech production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-91
Number of pages37
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan


  • Japanese
  • Orthography
  • Picture-word task
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of orthography in the picture-word task: Evidence from Japanese scripts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this