Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Anna Kuhlen (Humboldt University) – Lexical access in shared task settings
October 1, 2021
9:00 am

Anna Kuhlen (Humboldt University) – Lexical access in shared task settings

Lexical access in shared task settings: how a task partner’s speaking can interfere with or facilitate own speaking

Language is a social instrument that enables communication and social interaction. Speaking in a social interaction places unique demands on our cognitive system that are met by additional processes such as social cognition, interpersonal coordination, and multi-sensory integration. In this talk I will focus on how a speaker’s lexical access is shaped by social interaction. I will present a series of experimental studies that adapt picture-naming tasks typically used in speech production research to a social setting in which two speakers take turns speaking. We tested whether the speed with which a speaker could name a picture was shaped by whether the partner’s preceding utterance was semantically related or unrelated. Our findings suggests that one partner’s speaking generates semantic context that affects the lexical retrieval of the next speaker’s turn. Whether this effect facilitates or interferes with lexical access is revealing of how a task partner’s utterances are represented and seems to depend on the nature of the social setting. My work advocates going beyond single-speaker settings to understand language production in social interaction.