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date: 18 August 2018

Abstract and Keywords

In psycholinguistics, speech production refers broadly to the processes mapping a message the speaker intends to communicate onto its form. If a speaker wishes to tell someone “The picture I'm looking at is an animal—a feline pet”, these processes allow the speaker to generate the spoken form “cat”. Psycholinguistic theories have focused on “formulation processes”: the construction/retrieval of a plan to produce an utterance. This plan specifies the phonological structure of the utterance. Subsequent articulatory/motoric processes execute this plan, producing the actual movements of the speech organs. Since the mid-1980s, connectionist architectures have served as the dominant paradigm for characterizing theories of formulation processes. This article examines how two connectionist principles (localist representations and spreading activation) have influenced the development of speech production theories. It discusses the use of these principles in framing theories of speech production and shows how the principles have been used to account for three sets of empirical observations. The article also examines distributed representations, focusing on learning and processing as well as learning and syntactic priming.

Keywords: psycholinguistics, speech production, formulation processes, connectionist principles, localist representations, spreading activation, distributed representations, learning, syntactic priming

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