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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- good-enough processing
- language production