Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mark Richard Lauersdorf


Numerous research studies show word reading performance influences reading comprehension. Few studies investigate how reading comprehension influences word reading. The current study explores whether alleviating the attention required for reading comprehension correlates with a better word reading performance. Three types of tongue twister reading tasks that involve recall (RR), semantic priming (PP), and instructional focus on the phonological information (PF) all have a high demand for attention on word reading. Differently, the attention demanded by PP tasks on reading comprehension is smaller than RR and RF tasks. Numbers of speech errors are used to manifest the variability of these three attentional control modes. It is predicted that during tongue twister readings, task types demanding less attention on reading comprehension will elicit fewer speech errors. Mixed and fixed effect Poisson regression analysis with RR tasks as the comparison foundation shows a highly significant correlation (p< .001) between total speech error numbers and PP tasks; no significant correlations between total speech error numbers and PF tasks. These results offer evidence that reducing the attention demanded on reading comprehension alleviates the attentional control strain and allows better performance on word reading. This study suggests understanding the interaction between reading comprehension and word reading through speech errors by including executive functions like attentional control is a hopeful direction. Improvements and future directions are discussed in the end.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)