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J Mem Lang. 2009 Feb 1;60(2):291-307.

More on Lexical Bias: How Efficient Can a "Lexical Editor" Be?

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1
Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 405 N. Matthews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

Abstract

The lexical bias effect (the tendency for phonological speech errors to create words more often than nonwords) has been debated for over 30 years. One account attributes the effect to a lexical editor, a strategic component of the production system that examines each planned phonological string, and suppresses it if it is a nonword. The alternative explanation is that the effect occurs automatically as a result of phonological-lexical feedback. Using a new paradigm, we explicitly asked participants to do lexical editing on their planned speech and compared performance on this inner lexical decision task to results obtained from the standard lexical decision task in three subsequent experiments. Our experimentally created "lexical editor" needed 300 ms to recognize and suppress nonwords, as determined by comparing reaction times when editing was and was not required. Therefore, we concluded that even though strategic lexical editing can be done, any such editing that occurs in daily speech occurs sporadically, if at all.

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