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Title: Exploring the nature of lexical selection in spoken word production : competition and the response exclusion hypothesis
Author: Hutson, James
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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The manner in which we select and retrieve words from semantic memory had, until recently, been widely accepted to involve competitive processing. Response exclusion hypothesis (REH) has instead argued that processing is non-competitive and that the main source of evidence for co~petition, picture-word interference, reflects post-lexical processing. The work presented in this thesis examined the supportive evidence and the viability of the conceptual claims it has been used to support. Chapter 2 focussed on the effect of manipulating the frequency of written distractor words on the naming speed of concurrently . presented target pictures. Three experiments provided evidence that frequency effects emerge in manual, button-press responses in addition to vocal naming, providing evidence against the involvementĀ· of articulatory processing in the effect. Chapter 3 sought to resolve conflicting findings regarding the semantic gradient' in related picture-word stimuli. Two previous experiments that presented closely related (e.g., horse-zebra) and distantly related (e.g., horse-whale) target-distractor combinations were replicated. While both experiments identified clear categorical interference effects, neither provided clear support for a gradient related to semantic distance. Chapter 4 investigated the effect of presenting distractor words briefly (23ms-84ms), under masked conditions. Previous findings suggested that masking distractor words leads to facilitation (rather than inhibition), which had been interpreted as support for REH. Three experiments investigated a range of distractor presentation durations with the aim of defining the boundaries of these effects but found no facilitatory effects. Finally, Chapter 5 used a novel target-distractor manipulation to test the locus of inhibitory picture-word effects. Findings suggested that distractor words (e.g., stable) which were related to targets (e.g., "cat") via mediating items from the same category (e.g., horse) resulted in interference. It was argued that this finding is not easily accommodated by REH and instead can be accounted for more easily if competitive lexical selection is assumed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available