Connectionist principles in theories of speech production

Matthew Goldrick

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568971
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 Connectionist principles in theories of speech production

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Show Summary Details


In psycholinguistics, speech production refers broadly to the processes mapping a message the speaker intends to communicate onto its form. If a speaker wishes to tell someone “The picture I'm looking at is an animal—a feline pet”, these processes allow the speaker to generate the spoken form “cat”. Psycholinguistic theories have focused on “formulation processes”: the construction/retrieval of a plan to produce an utterance. This plan specifies the phonological structure of the utterance. Subsequent articulatory/motoric processes execute this plan, producing the actual movements of the speech organs. Since the mid-1980s, connectionist architectures have served as the dominant paradigm for characterizing theories of formulation processes. This article examines how two connectionist principles (localist representations and spreading activation) have influenced the development of speech production theories. It discusses the use of these principles in framing theories of speech production and shows how the principles have been used to account for three sets of empirical observations. The article also examines distributed representations, focusing on learning and processing as well as learning and syntactic priming.

Keywords: psycholinguistics; speech production; formulation processes; connectionist principles; localist representations; spreading activation; distributed representations; learning; syntactic priming

Article.  9393 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.