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Modeling of word translation: Activation flow from concepts to lexical items

Roelofs, A., Dijkstra, T., & Gerakaki, S. (2013). Modeling of word translation: Activation flow from concepts to lexical items. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 343-353. doi:10.1017/S1366728912000612.
Whereas most theoretical and computational models assume a continuous flow of activation from concepts to lexical items in spoken word production, one prominent model assumes that the mapping of concepts onto words happens in a discrete fashion (Bloem & La Heij, 2003). Semantic facilitation of context pictures on word translation has been taken to support the discrete-flow model. Here, we report results of computer simulations with the continuous-flow WEAVER++ model (Roelofs, 1992, 2006) demonstrating that the empirical observation taken to be in favor of discrete models is, in fact, only consistent with those models and equally compatible with more continuous models of word production by monolingual and bilingual speakers. Continuous models are specifically and independently supported by other empirical evidence on the effect of context pictures on native word production.
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