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Title: Semantic neighbourhood density effects in word identification during normal reading : evidence from eye movements
Author: al Farsi, Badriya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 3258
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Eye movement studies (e.g., lexical ambiguity and semantic plausibility studies) suggesting that word meaning can influence lexical processing relied on contextual information. Therefore, these studies provide only a limited insight into whether the semantic characteristics of a fixated word can be accessed before the completion of its unique word identification. The present thesis investigated the effect of the semantic characteristics of a word in its lexical processing during normal reading. In particular, four experiments were carried out to examine the effects of semantic neighbourhood density (SND, defined by mean distance between a given word and all its co-occurrence neighbours falling within a specific threshold in semantic space, Shaoul & Westbury, 2010a) in normal reading. The findings indicated that the SND characteristics of the fixated word influenced the lexical processing of the fixated word itself and the subsequent words, as evident in early reading time measures associated with lexical processing. These results suggest that a word’s semantic representation can be activated and can influence lexical processing before the completion of unique word identification during normal reading. The findings were discussed in terms of Stolz & Besner’s (1996) embellished interactive-activation model (McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981) and the models of eye movement control during reading.
Supervisor: Liversedge, Simon ; Rule, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics