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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas