Viewing and naming objects: Eye movements during noun phrase production

Meyer, A. S., Sleiderink, A. M., & Levelt, W. J. M. (1998). Viewing and naming objects: Eye movements during noun phrase production. Cognition, 66(2), B25-B33. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(98)00009-2.
Eye movements have been shown to reflect word recognition and language comprehension processes occurring during reading and auditory language comprehension. The present study examines whether the eye movements speakers make during object naming similarly reflect speech planning processes. In Experiment 1, speakers named object pairs saying, for instance, 'scooter and hat'. The objects were presented as ordinary line drawings or with partly dele:ed contours and had high or low frequency names. Contour type and frequency both significantly affected the mean naming latencies and the mean time spent looking at the objects. The frequency effects disappeared in Experiment 2, in which the participants categorized the objects instead of naming them. This suggests that the frequency effects of Experiment 1 arose during lexical retrieval. We conclude that eye movements during object naming indeed reflect linguistic planning processes and that the speakers' decision to move their eyes from one object to the next is contingent upon the retrieval of the phonological form of the object names.
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