Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Ping Li

Second Advisor

Jane M. Berry

Third Advisor

Beth Crawford


Many studies have been conducted to test the effects of ambiguous words in sentence processing. There are two views: the modularity hypothesis and the interactive hypothesis that dominate this field of study. The effect of ambiguity has been tested in many ways, including gating, cross-modal priming, naming, and self-paced reading. This utilizes the methods of self paced reading with lexical decision and naming tasks to examine the hypotheses as they relate to the access period of lexical differentiation. Results indicate that context has an immediate effect, after which participants look to other factors to discern meaning of a sentence. Details are discussed according to a time course activation model.

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Psychology Commons