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ERIC Number: EJ869611
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0749-596X
Mrs. Malaprop's Neighborhood: Using Word Errors to Reveal Neighborhood Structure
Goldrick, Matthew; Folk, Jocelyn R.; Rapp, Brenda
Journal of Memory and Language, v62 n2 p113-134 Feb 2010
Many theories of language production and perception assume that in the normal course of processing a word, additional non-target words (lexical neighbors) become active. The properties of these neighbors can provide insight into the structure of representations and processing mechanisms in the language processing system. To infer the properties of neighbors, we examined the non-semantic errors produced in both spoken and written word production by four individuals who suffered neurological injury. Using converging evidence from multiple language tasks, we first demonstrate that the errors originate in disruption to the processes involved in the retrieval of word form representations from long-term memory. The targets and errors produced were then examined for their similarity along a number of dimensions. A novel statistical-simulation procedure was developed to determine the significance of the observed similarities between targets and errors relative to multiple chance baselines. The results reveal that in addition to position-specific form overlap (the only consistent claim of traditional definitions of neighborhood structure) the dimensions of lexical frequency, grammatical category, target length and initial segment independently contribute to the activation of non-target words in both spoken and written production. Additional analyses confirm the relevance of these dimensions for word production showing that, in both written and spoken modalities, the retrieval of a target word is facilitated by increasing neighborhood density, as defined by the results of the target-error analyses. (Contains 10 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A