Do elevators compete with lifts? Selecting dialect alternatives

Alissa Melinger (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


Recently, Melinger (2018) demonstrated that translation equivalent dialectal words compete for selection in a way that translation equivalent words from a non-target language do not. She argued that dialectal words are stored as within-language representations. However, Dylman and Barry (2018) showed that within-language synonyms behave like between-language translation equivalents, calling Melinger's interpretation into question. The aim of the present study is to compare dialectal and non-dialectal synonyms distractor effects with the same experimental design to elaborate our understanding of how dialectal lexical items are stored and retrieved during production. In two experiments, American translation equivalents slowed British picture naming times, replicating the findings from Melinger (2018). In a third experiment, synonymous distractor words did not slow picture naming times, replicating the findings from Dylman and Barry (2018). A proposal couched within the Swinging Lexical Network approach is proposed to explain the discrepant findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104471
Number of pages13
Early online date16 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Bidialectalism
  • Lexical organization
  • Lexical selection
  • Picture-word interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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