Semantic relationships in mandarin speech errors

I. Ping Wan, Jen Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates various patterns in a corpus of naturally-occurring lexical substitution speech errors to show how Mandarin speakers produce such lexical items and how they relate to the lexical-semantic relationships in Mandarin lexicon. Target-error pairs often share similar semantic features or are semantically-related associates and can be categorized into general taxonomies of semantic relatedness. A coordinate relationship is the most common type, followed by association, and contrastive is the least common type. These findings show that two lexical items are related by sharing a number of semantic features or sharing values on these features to the same level of specificity in the context. Lexical errors in Mandarin confirm some general findings in other relevant cross-linguistic studies, suggesting that the semantic links between two lemmas in the lexicon have caused the error. The error distributions in the Mandarin corpus suggest that lexical selection occurs independently in models of lexical production. The data confirm the description of the formulation stage in the context of psycholinguistic models of sentence production (Garrett, 1975, 1982, 1984; Levelt, 1989; Dell, 1986, 1988).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-66
Number of pages34
JournalTaiwan Journal of Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Lexical substitution errors
  • Mandarin
  • Semantic relations
  • Speech errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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