The Meeting Point: Where Language Production and Working Memory Share Resources

  • Byurakn Ishkhanyan
  • Kasper Boye
  • Jesper Mogensen


The interaction between working memory and language processing is widely discussed in cognitive research. However, those studies often explore the relationship between language comprehension and working memory (WM). The role of WM is rarely considered in language production, despite some evidence suggesting a relationship between the two cognitive systems. This study attempts to fill that gap by using a complex span task during language production. We make our predictions based on the reorganization of elementary functions neurocognitive model, a usage based theory about grammatical status, and language production models. In accordance with these theories, we expect an overlap between language production and WM at one or more levels of language planning. Our results show that WM is involved at the phonological encoding level of language production and that adding WM load facilitates language production, which leads us to suggest that an extra task-specific storage is being created while the task is performed.


Language planning Working memory Language production Grammar and lexicon 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nordic Studies and LinguisticsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.General Linguistics and Language TechnologyUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  3. 3.School of Communication and CultureAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  4. 4.The Unit for Cognitive Neuroscience (UCN), Department of PsychologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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