Semantic context effects in language production: a swinging lexical network proposal and a review

Rasha Abdel Rahman, Alissa Melinger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    146 Citations (Scopus)


    The investigation of semantic context effects has served as a valuable tool in investigating mechanisms of language production. Classic semantic interference effects have provided influential support for and interest in a competitive lexical selection mechanism. However, recent interest in semantic facilitation effects has stimulated a discussion on whether context effects reflect competition during lexical selection. In this review we propose a framework of lexical selection by competition that is sensitive to the activation of lexical cohorts. We outline our proposal and then present a selective review of the empirical evidence, much of which has been central to the development of alternative non-competitive models. We suggest that by adopting the assumptions of our proposal we can parsimoniously account for a majority of the discussed semantic facilitation and interference effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)713-734
    Number of pages22
    JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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