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ERIC Number: EJ784260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Multiple Meanings Are Not Necessarily a Disadvantage in Semantic Processing: Evidence from Homophone Effects in Semantic Categorisation
Siakaluk, Paul D.; Pexman, Penny M.; Sears, Christopher R.; Owen, William J.
Language and Cognitive Processes, v22 n3 p453-467 Apr 2007
The ambiguity disadvantage (slower processing of ambiguous words relative to unambiguous words) has been taken as evidence for a distributed semantic representational system like that embodied in parallel distributed processing (PDP) models. In the present study, we investigated whether semantic ambiguity slows meaning activation, as PDP models would predict, by examining homophone effects in semantic categorisation tasks. We observed a homophone effect in a go/no-go semantic categorisation task, but not in a yes/no semantic categorisation task. Our results suggest that previously reported ambiguity effects may have been due to the decision phase of the semantic categorisation task and not to the semantic processing phase, in which case the interpretation of the ambiguity disadvantage will need to be reconsidered. (Contains 3 tables and 1 footnote.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A