Tip of the Tongue Essay

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 ...

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