Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Lexical Selection in Language Production

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posted on 2021-11-12, 22:03 authored by Downes, Winston

Two experiments were conducted with first-year university students in an effort to discover more about what happens when a phrase is spoken. A paradigm was constructed with the intention of getting the participants to produce a simple, two-noun phrase at a cue and then 'catch' them out having them say the name of a single picture presented instead. The single picture presented to 'catch' the participants out (instead of the cue) was either the first or second name in the simple two-noun phrase, or a third, unplanned picture. The intention was to compare the relative timings of the different catch pictures in an effort to discover which of two theories of speech production best describes the cognitive processes that underlie such processes. The second experiment was an extension of this idea but also included a semantic relatedness variable, where the catch picture could be semantically related to an item shown during the planning of the simple, two-noun phrase. The results of these experiments were not in line with the hypothesis regarding the relative timings of the catch pictures, but were in line with the hypothesis that it would take longer to name catch pictures that were preceded by semantically related pictures. Implications of such findings are discussed along with possible future modifications to extend the utility of the paradigm used in this study.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Wilshire, Carolyn