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The time course of familiar metonymy

Bott, Lewis, Rees, Alice and Frisson, Steven 2016. The time course of familiar metonymy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 42 (7) , pp. 1160-1170. 10.1037/xlm0000218

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Metonymic words have multiple related meanings, such as college, as in the building (“John walked into the college”) or the educational institution (“John was promoted by the college”). Most researchers have found support for direct access models of metonymy but one recent study, Lowder and Gordon (2013), found delayed reading times for metonymic sentences relative to literal controls, in support of an indirect access account. We conducted a speed-accuracy-tradeoff experiment to test whether their result was caused by lower retrieval probabilities, consistent with direct or indirect access models of metonymy, or slower retrieval dynamics, consistent only with indirect access accounts. We found lower retrieval probabilities for the metonymic sentences but no difference in the dynamics parameters. These results therefore suggest that literal senses do not have priority during processing and that established metonymic senses can be accessed directly.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0278-7393
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 October 2015
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 10:40

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