We investigated factors that modulate the presence of the masked onset priming effect in three naming experiments. In Experiment 1, we showed that the masked onset priming effect is found with regular words, but not with exception words, replicating the finding reported by Forster and Davis (1991). In Experiment 2, we used the conditional naming task in which words are mixed with nonwords and participants are instructed to name the item only if it is a word. The masked onset priming effect was eliminated in this experiment, but the regularity effect remained. In Experiment 3, regular and irregular words were mixed randomly, rather than in separate blocks as in Experiment 1. This reduced the size of the regularity effect, and the masked onset priming effect was again absent. We argue that these results, taken as a whole, are better interpreted within the view that the masked onset priming effect has its origin in the preparation of a speech response, rather than within the original dual-route interpretation proposed by Forster and Davis.