Good-enough language production

Adele E. Goldberg, Fernanda Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our ability to comprehend and produce language is one of humans’ most impressive skills, but it is not flawless. We must convey and interpret messages via a noisy channel in ever-changing contexts and we sometimes fail to access an optimal combination of words and grammatical constructions. Here, we extend the notion of good-enough (GN) comprehension to GN production, which allows us to unify a wide range of phenomena including overly vague word choices, agreement errors, resumptive pronouns, transfer effects, and children's overextensions and regularizations. We suggest these all involve the accessing and production of a ‘GN’ option when a more-optimal option is inaccessible. The role of accessibility highlights the need to relate memory encoding and retrieval processes to language comprehension and production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-311
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • communication
  • good-enough processing
  • language production

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