Context effects on lexical choice and lexical activation
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory and Cognition, 31, 5, (2005), pp. 905-920
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
Journal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory and Cognition
Speakers are regularly confronted with the choice among lexical alternatives when referring to objects, including basic-level names (e.g., car) and subordinate-level names (e.g., Beetle). Which of these names is eventually selected often depends on contextual factors. The present article reports a series of picture-word interference experiments that explored how the designated target name (basic level vs. subordinate level) and contextual constraints rendering the name alternative either appropriate or inappropriate affect lexical activation and lexical choice. The experimental data demonstrate clear context effects on the eventual lexical choice. However, they also show that alternative nonselected object names are phonologically activated, even if a constraining context makes these alternative names currently inappropriate.
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