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Concreteness and word production

Hanley, JR and Hunt, RP and Steed, DA and Jackman, S (2013) 'Concreteness and word production.' Memory and Cognition, 41 (3). 365 - 377. ISSN 0090-502X

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Two experiments are reported that investigated the effect of concreteness on the ability to generate words to fit sentence contexts. When participants attempted to retrieve words from dictionary definitions in Experiment 1, abstract words were associated with more omissions and more alternates than were concrete words. These findings are consistent with the view that the semantic-lexical weights in the word production system are weaker for abstract than for concrete words. We found no evidence that greater competition from semantic neighbors was an additional reason why abstract words were harder to produce. Participants also reported more positive tip-of-the-tongue states (TOTs) when attempting to produce abstract words from their definitions, consistent with more phonological retrieval problems for abstract than for concrete words. In Experiment 2, participants attempted to generate words to fit into a sentence that described a specific event. The difference between the numbers of abstract and concrete words recalled was significantly smaller in the event condition than in the definition condition, and evidence no longer emerged of greater phonological retrieval failure for abstract words. Overall, the results are consistent with the view that the semantic-lexical weights, but not the lexical-phonological weights, are weaker for abstract than for concrete words in the word production system. © 2012 Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 12 May 2014 15:53
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 00:18

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