Pragmatic constraints do not prevent the co-activation of alternative names: Evidence from sequential naming tasks with one and two speakers
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SourceLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35, 8, (2020), pp. 1073-1088
Article / Letter to editor
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Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
We investigated whether the phonological co-activation of alternative names in picture naming (e.g. "fish" for target "shark") is reduced by contextual constraints which render them inappropriate. In the constraining context, the target naming response was preceded by a naming response to an object from the same category (e.g. an eel) which remained visible during target naming. Therefore, use of the alternative target name "fish" would result (a) in an ambiguous response because of the visual context and (b) in a pragmatically odd response because of the previous naming response. In Experiment 1 the context pictures were named by the participants themselves and in Experiment 2 by a communication partner. In both experiments, interference from distractor words phonologically related ("finger") versus unrelated ("book") to the alternative name was observed regardless of context. This finding indicates limited flexibility in lexical activation during speech planning.
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