Prosody in skilled silent reading: Evidence from eye movements

Jane Ashby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Recent eye movement experiments offer preliminary evidence that skilled readers activate word-level prosodic information when silently reading sentences. This paper reviews the role of eye movements during reading as well as the preliminary evidence for prosodic processing. A new experiment examines whether prosodic processing differs for high and low frequency words. Readers' eye movements were monitored while reading target words presented in sentences preceded by parafoveal previews that either contained the exact initial syllable of the target (i.e. the congruent preview condition) or the initial syllable plus the next letter (i.e. the incongruent preview condition). Reading times on high frequency words did not differ in the congruent and incongruent preview conditions, but reading times on low frequency words were faster in the congruent condition. The implications of the present result and previous studies are discussed in terms of phonological hub theory, which is a production-based theory of word recognition during skilled silent reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-333
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Eye movements
  • Lexical stress
  • Prosody
  • Reading
  • Syllable


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