Tip Of The Tongue Essay

1760 words - 8 pages

The ability to retrieve words from the lexicon (mental dictionary) to form speech sounds usually requires little conscious effort. However word retrieval which is not carried out accordingly can require greater cognitive effort, affecting speech production (Abrams, 2008). When the recall of words stored in a lexicon is delayed, it is commonly due to tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states. TOT experiences are temporary and frustrating word recall problems . The ways in which TOT states occur to effect speech h production can be understood by analysing how speech production occurs without TOT and with TOT, what factors enhance TOT situations, what factors inhibit TOT experiences and who is effected by TOT states.
The mental processes which enable speech production to occurs can convey how TOT experiences are triggered. Speech is quite a complex yet partially unconscious process which occurs at a rate of about 2-4 words per second and errors are only made every 1 000th word (Abrams, 2008). It requires the speakers construct a message then encode what they intend to say through two processes. Firstly the target word's semantic properties (word meaning) is determined. Afterwards the brain retrieves information about it's phonology ( word sounds) and this information is sent to speech articulators to form meaningful speech sounds (Field, 2004). According to Interactive activation theories the selection of semantics and the encoding of phonology are processes which operate together. On the other hand Discrete theories believe that speech production requires the selection and retrieval of target semantics occur before phonology is encoded. However, both theories agree TOT states occur when the brain is able to carry out lexical selection of semantic features but fails to encode its phonology (White, Abrams & Frame, 2013). I believe speech occurs in accordance with discrete theories. From this perspective it is understandable how the retrieval of phonology can be disabled when one process, retrieval of semantics, is separate from another, retrieval of phonology. If the interactive activation theory was true, I feel that TOT experiences would not occur or speakers would be unable to retrieve semantic and phonology at all. To prompt the retrieval of phonology the connection between words semantics and phonology are activated .The strength of these connections determine the rate and amount of stimulation s between connections (James & Burke, 2000; Abrams, 2008). The "transmission deficit model" is a theory that suggest low frequency, non recent use of words weaken a words connection between its semantics and phonology. In addition, there are only single connections between the semantics and phonology of word. The weakening of connections reduces the stimulation of connections which occur, causing connections to weaken even more. This causes TOT experiences occur (Abram, 2008). This theory appears to agree with the directional theory, in separating the...

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