The temporal organisation of lexical retrieval
The interaction between pauses and the retrieval of the desired lexemes in the process of word production is a topic that involves controversies worth investigating. The hypothesis of the present paper was that certain pauses might refer to specific operations in the mental lexicon predicting the phonetic output. The temporal analysis of word retrieval was carried out in a 'tip-of-the-tongue' elicitation experiment while pauses (1) marking the speaker's word finding trouble and (2) preceding restarts and repetitions were measured in spontaneous speech. The results confirmed the existence of specific temporal organisation underlying lexical access: a significantly different amount of time was measured depending on the subprocesses involved and on the mode of word retrieval that mediated between concept and articulation.
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