Author

Adam AnFollow

Date Thesis Awarded

4-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Linguistics

Advisor

Dan Parker

Committee Members

Kaitlyn Harrigan

Anya Lunden

Timothy Davis

Abstract

Memory retrieval during sentence comprehension is sensitive to the degree of match between a retrieval’s cues and the cues of a candidate word encoded in memory. Should a candidate word’s cues mismatch with the cues of the retrieval, a disruption in retrieval latency may be experimentally evidenced by a measured disruption in reading time. However, it is unclear how this degree of match is determined for words that are encoded in memory with underspecified cues, and it is unclear how the retrieval mechanism responds to these. The current study tests how the retrieval mechanism is affected when presented with words with underspecified cues. Results from a self-paced reading activity show that such words do not cause delays in reading time; comparing these results to computationally generated predictions suggests that underspecified cues are treated like matching cues, not mismatching cues, in the retrieval process. The findings augment our understanding of the retrieval mechanism by accounting for its response to a greater variety of words.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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