Phonological–lexical activation:a lexical component or anoutput buffer? Evidence from aphasic errors


Single word production requires that phoneme activation is maintained while articulatory conversion is taking place. Word serial recall, connected speech and non-word production (repetition and spelling) are all assumed to involve a phonological output buffer. A crucial question is whether the same memory resources are also involved in single word production. We investigate this question by assessing length and positional effects in the single word repetition and reading of six aphasic patients. We expect a damaged buffer to result in error rates per phoneme which increase with word length and in position effects. Although our patients had trouble with phoneme activation (they made mainly errors of phoneme selection), they did not show the effects expected from a buffer impairment. These results show that phoneme activation cannot be automatically equated with a buffer. We hypothesize that the phonemes of existing words are kept active though permanent links to the word node. Thus, the sustained activation needed for their articulation will come from the lexicon and will have different characteristics from the activation needed for the short-term retention of an unbound set of units. We conclude that there is no need and no evidence for a phonological buffer in single word production.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cortex. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Romani, Cristina and Galluzzi, Claudia (2011). Phonological–lexical activation: A lexical component or an output buffer? Evidence from aphasic errors. Cortex, 47 (2), pp. 217-235. DOI 10.1016/j.cortex.2009.11.004
Uncontrolled Keywords: phonological output buffer,phonological errors,buffer impairment,length effects,positional effects,Clinical Neurology,Neurology
Publication ISSN: 1973-8102
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2024 08:09
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2010 15:44
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2011-02
Authors: Romani, Cristina (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5693-4131)
Galluzzi, Claudia


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