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ERIC Number: EJ911955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Tip-of-the-Tongue States Reveal Age Differences in the Syllable Frequency Effect
Farrell, Meagan T.; Abrams, Lise
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n1 p277-285 Jan 2011
Syllable frequency has been shown to facilitate production in some languages but has yielded inconsistent results in English and has never been examined in older adults. Tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states represent a unique type of production failure where the phonology of a word is unable to be retrieved, suggesting that the frequency of phonological forms, like syllables, may influence the occurrence of TOT states. In the current study, we investigated the role of first-syllable frequency on TOT incidence and resolution in young (18-26 years of age), young-old (60-74 years of age), and old-old (75-89 years of age) adults. Data from 3 published studies were compiled, where TOTs were elicited by presenting definition-like questions and asking participants to respond with "Know," "Don't Know," or "TOT." Young-old and old-old adults, but not young adults, experienced more TOTs for words beginning with low-frequency first syllables relative to high-frequency first syllables. Furthermore, age differences in TOT incidence occurred only for words with low-frequency first syllables. In contrast, when a prime word with the same first syllable as the target was presented during TOT states, all age groups resolved more TOTs for words beginning with low-frequency syllables. These findings support speech production models that allow for bidirectional activation between conceptual, lexical, and phonological forms of words. Furthermore, the age-specific effects of syllable frequency provide insight into the progression of age-linked changes to phonological processes. (Contains 2 tables, 5 figures and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A