Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Levelt et al.: Lexical access in speech production

Naming versus referring in the selection of words

Peter C. Gordon a1
a1 Department of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270


The theory of lexical selection presented by Levelt, Roelofs & Meyer addresses the mechanisms of semantic activation that lead to the selection of isolated words. The theory does not appear to extend naturally to the referential use of words (particularly pronouns) in coherent discourse. A more complete theory of lexical selection has to consider the semantics of discourse as well as lexical semantics.