Misspoken words affect the perception and retrieval of intended words

Hossein Karimi, Michele Diaz, Fernanda Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Everyday speech contains disfluencies, including unintentionally spoken words. What is the fate of the misspoken word in the comprehender’s memory? In this study, we asked whether: (1) the gender of misspoken words lingers and affects how the intended word is perceived, and (2) whether and how lingering representations can cause interference during the retrieval of the intended word. In two experiments, participants provided spoken responses to given prompts. In Experiment 1, participants used masculine or feminine pronouns to refer to gender-neutral words (passenger) depending on the gender of a preceding misspoken word (pilot or stewardess), suggesting that the gender of reparanda lingers. Experiment 2 showed that the presence of a misspoken word resulted in a reduction of pronominal reference to the intended word, suggesting that the misspoken word causes interference when the intended word is being retrieved by functioning as an additional discourse entity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-151
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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