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Semantic neighbourhood density effects in word identification during normal reading: evidence from eye movements

Semantic neighbourhood density effects in word identification during normal reading: evidence from eye movements
Semantic neighbourhood density effects in word identification during normal reading: evidence from eye movements
Eye movement studies (e.g., lexical ambiguity and semantic plausibility studies) suggesting that word meaning can influence lexical processing relied on contextual information. Therefore, these studies provide only a limited insight into whether the semantic characteristics of a fixated word can be accessed before the completion of its unique word identification. The present thesis investigated the effect of the semantic characteristics of a word in its lexical processing during normal reading. In particular, four experiments were carried out to examine the effects of semantic neighbourhood density (SND, defined by mean distance between a given word and all its co-occurrence neighbours falling within a specific threshold in semantic space, Shaoul & Westbury, 2010a) in normal reading. The findings indicated that the SND characteristics of the fixated word influenced the lexical processing of the fixated word itself and the subsequent words, as evident in early reading time measures associated with lexical processing. These results suggest that a word’s semantic representation can be activated and can influence lexical processing before the completion of unique word identification during normal reading. The findings were discussed in terms of Stolz & Besner’s (1996) embellished interactive-activation model (McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981) and the models of eye movement control during reading.
al Farsi, Badriya
322d38b6-c0f0-4ebc-a273-7d16f5bc96c0
al Farsi, Badriya
322d38b6-c0f0-4ebc-a273-7d16f5bc96c0
Liversedge, Simon
3ebda3f3-d930-4f89-85d5-5654d8fe7dee
Rule, Sarah
81970997-971e-4613-adf5-69a6a627819c

al Farsi, Badriya (2014) Semantic neighbourhood density effects in word identification during normal reading: evidence from eye movements. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 281pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Eye movement studies (e.g., lexical ambiguity and semantic plausibility studies) suggesting that word meaning can influence lexical processing relied on contextual information. Therefore, these studies provide only a limited insight into whether the semantic characteristics of a fixated word can be accessed before the completion of its unique word identification. The present thesis investigated the effect of the semantic characteristics of a word in its lexical processing during normal reading. In particular, four experiments were carried out to examine the effects of semantic neighbourhood density (SND, defined by mean distance between a given word and all its co-occurrence neighbours falling within a specific threshold in semantic space, Shaoul & Westbury, 2010a) in normal reading. The findings indicated that the SND characteristics of the fixated word influenced the lexical processing of the fixated word itself and the subsequent words, as evident in early reading time measures associated with lexical processing. These results suggest that a word’s semantic representation can be activated and can influence lexical processing before the completion of unique word identification during normal reading. The findings were discussed in terms of Stolz & Besner’s (1996) embellished interactive-activation model (McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981) and the models of eye movement control during reading.

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More information

Published date: August 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 370013
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370013
PURE UUID: efea68d7-2b2e-4257-8f3e-44bbd5f64480

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Date deposited: 27 Oct 2014 12:41
Last modified: 12 Oct 2017 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Badriya al Farsi
Thesis advisor: Simon Liversedge
Thesis advisor: Sarah Rule

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