Table I

Components of the Language Processing System for Simple Words

Acoustic waveform

Phonological units

Auditory-oral modality

Matches acoustic properties to phonetic features

Activates lexical items in long-term memory on basis of sound; selects best fit to stimulus

Acoustic-phonological processing Input-side lexical access

Input-side semantic access Output-side lexical access Phonological output planning

Written lexical access

Lexical semantic access

Accessing orthography from semantics

Accessing lexical orthography from lexical phonology

Accessing sublexical orthography from sublexical phonology

Accessing lexical phonology from whole-word orthography

Accessing sublexical phonology from orthography

Words (represented as phonological forms)

Word meanings ("lemmas")

Orthographic forms of words Word meanings

Phonological representations of words

Phonological units (phonemes, other units)

Orthographic forms of words

Orthographic units (graphemes, other units)

Activates semantic features of words

Activates phonological forms of words

Activates semantic features of words

Activates orthographic forms of words

Activates orthographic forms of words from their phonological forms

Activates orthographic units corresponding to phonological units

Activates phonological forms of words from their orthographic forms

Activates phonological units corresponding to orthographic units

Phonological segments (phonemes, allophones, syllables) Phonological forms of words

Word meanings Phonological forms of words Speech

Orthographic forms of words Word meanings Orthographic forms of words Orthographic forms of words

Orthographic units in words and nonwords

Phonological forms of words

Phonological units in words and nonwords

Phonological forms of words Activates detailed phonetic (and nonwords) features of words

(and nonwords)

Written modality

Abstract letter identities Activates orthographic forms of words

Table II

Components of the Language Processing System for Derived Words and Sentences"

Component

Input

Operation

Output

Accessing morphological form Word forms

Morphological comprehension

Accessing affixed words from semantics

Lexico inferential processing Syntactic comprehension

Processing affixed words

Segments words into structural (morphological) units; activates syntactic features of words

Word meanings; Combines word roots and affixes morphological structure

Word meanings; syntactic features Activates forms of affixes and function words Sentence-level processing

Construction of sentence form

Meanings of simple and complex words; world knowledge

Word meanings; syntactic features

Word forms; propositional meaning

Infers aspects of sentence meaning on basis of pragmatic plausibility Constructs syntactic representation and combines it with word meanings

Constructs syntactic structures; inserts word forms into structures

Morphological structure; syntactic features

Meanings of morphologically complex words

Forms of affixes and function words

Aspects of propositional meaning (thematic roles, attribution of modifiers)

Propositional meaning

Sentence form (including positions of lexical items)

"Collapsed over auditory-oral and written modalities

Tables I and II and Figs. 1 and 2 outline the way information—in this case, sets of related linguistic representations—flows through the tasks of speaking, understanding spoken language, reading, and writing. The model depicted in these tables and figures simplifies this information flow in three ways: (i) It does not specify the nature of the operations in each of the major components of the system, (ii) it does not fully convey the extent to which the components of the system operate in parallel, and (iii) it does not convey the extent of feedback among the components of the system. Despite these simplifications, the model captures enough aspects of information processing in the language system to constitute an adequate starting place for a psycholinguistic approach to the neural basis of language.

The operations of the language processing system are regulated by a variety of control mechanisms, including both those internal to the language processor and those that are involved in other aspects of cognition. The first category, language-internal control mechanisms, probably consists of a large number of operations that schedule psycholinguistic operations on the basis of the ongoing nature of a given psycholinguistic task. The second category of control mechanisms, those that are related to cognitive processing outside the language system, determines what combinations of processors become active in order to accomplish different tasks, such as reading, repeating what one has heard, and taking notes on a lecture.

Processing components are activated in serial and in parallel to accomplish language tasks such as reading a word aloud, producing a spoken sentence, and writing a word from dictation. Different tasks require different processors. For instance, referring to Table I and Fig. 1, reading a word aloud can be accomplished in several ways. All these "reading routes'' begin with the processor that recognizes visual patterns as letters. One route then uses these letter identities to activate phonological units, which are assembled into a pronunciation. A second route uses letter identities to activate the orthographic forms of words, which in turn activate the phonological forms of words. A third route also activates the orthographic forms of words, which in turn activate meanings of words, and these then lead to the activation of the phonological forms of words. In all cases, the resulting phonological sequence is sent to the processor labeled "output phonological

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