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Title: Linguistic determinants of serial short-term memory : the role of (co) articulatory fluency
Author: Woodward, Amelia Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 739X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2006
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Linguistic familiarity effects are principally attributed to the item-based, process of redintegration whereby partially-decayed, temporary representations are reconstructed at retrieval using long-term phonological knowledge of items. An alternative tested in this thesis was that familiarity influences memory at the sequence (rather than the item) level by enhancing the efficacy with which items may be assembled into sequences, especially in relation to the process of coarticulation. Specifically, these studies examined the role played by co-articulatory fluency of the boundaries between list items - necessarily a sequence-rather than item-level factor - on verbal short-term serial recall performance. The first empirical series identified that articulatory duration differences between items differing in level of familiarity only became apparent when sequence duration rather than single item or pair duration was measured. Furthermore, the experiments found that the observed improvement in recall with practice was due to increasing coarticulatory fluency in producing the sequence rather than greater fluency in producing the items. Empirical series 2 examined further whether coarticulation, rather than the formation of associative links between items in a set, led to faster articulation rates and improved recall for familiar lists. It was found that the articulatory fluency resulting from familiarisation with sequences of items generalised to sequences of different items so long as those items shared between-item coarticulatory transitions with the familiarised items. These results suggest that linguistic familiarity effects in short-term memory are, at least in part, due to articulatory fluency. The results of this thesis are discussed in relation to a wider view of short-term memory research that suggests short-term memory performance is parasitic on general perceptual and motor/gestural processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available