Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Hiram L. McDade

Abstract

There is considerable interest in how individuals process single words when they are heard. An examination of the literature reveals an interesting, yet little-explored contradiction between the assumptions underlying the neighborhood activation model (NAM) and contemporary models of word retrieval. In this study, participants listened to CVC words and non-words with the following characteristics: 1) dense initial and sparse final consonant neighborhoods, 2) sparse initial and dense final consonant neighborhoods, 3) dense initial and dense final consonant neighborhoods, and 4) sparse initial and sparse final neighborhoods. Results indicated that, as a group, words with large final consonant neighborhoods produced longer response times than words with large initial consonant neighborhoods. These findings are discussed in terms of modified predictions of the NAM.

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