Planning at an abstract level

Yesterday, writing a postcard (by hand), I intended to quote an old (and not particularly good) dirty joke with the line “How far is the Old Log Inn?” in it, but started writing

How far is the Old Logg

when I saw the error, crossed out Logg and went on with Log Inn.

The error? I’d anticipated the double N in Inn, transferring it to the G of Log; “doubled letter” was part of the plan.

It’s long been observed that planning in language production is blocked out at a level that involves abstractions like “noun word”, “syllable onset”, and “constituent”. (Vicki Fromkin is especially identified with pressing this point, but others have made it as well.) Here the relevant abstraction is “doubled consonant”.

Three more examples from my files, all from my own productions:

(1) to ADS-L 6/23/09: goggling [for googling] on “sceince” can be a sobering experience

(2) typed 7/10/10: fottballs [for footballs]

(3) repeatedly typed: reffered [for referred]

These are all within a word, that is, within a small compass. Old Logg, on the other hand anticipates doubling in one word on the basis of doubling in the word to come.



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: