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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2009 Sep;35(5):1240-55. doi: 10.1037/a0016367.

Scope of lexical access in spoken sentence production: implications for the conceptual-syntactic interface.

Author information

1
School of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University, Nishi-Ikebukuro 3-34-1, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan. allum@rikkyo.ac.jp

Abstract

Building on P. H. Allum and L. Wheeldon (2007), the authors conducted 5 experiments to investigate the scope of lexical access during spoken sentence production in Japanese and English. Speakers described pairs of pictured objects, and on critical trials, 1 object was previewed. In Japanese, sentence onset is speeded by the preview of each of the 2 pictures used to elicit a sentence initial coordinated noun phrase (Experiment 1). When the same displays are used to elicit an alternative Japanese listing structure, onset latencies are speeded only by the preview of the first picture to be named (Experiment 2). The findings of Experiment 1 were therefore not the result of stimulus design. Experiment 3 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 in English. Experiments 4 and 5 tested a subject phrase consisting of a noun phrase modified by a prepositional phrase in English and Japanese. In both languages, only preview of the first picture to be named speeds responses, irrespective of whether it occurs in the head phrase (English) or not (Japanese). These results suggest that prior to utterance onset, only access to the nouns for the first phrase to be produced is required, even if this is not the head phrase. The implications for speech production models are discussed.

PMID:
19686018
DOI:
10.1037/a0016367
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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