The Mnemonic Effect of Alliteration in Binomials in Native Speakers of Dutch

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Poetic language devices, such as alliteration, influence the way we process language. The present study focused on the effect alliteration has on language processing when it occurs within collocations, specifically, binomials. In previous studies, alliteration in collocations has been found to have a mnemonic effect in second language learners. The present study investigated whether a similar mnemonic effect of alliteration in binomials could be found in native speakers. In addition, the current study added onto previous research through the way it used speech. Contrary to previous studies, participants not only listened to spoken language during the training phase of the experiment, but also produced speech during the testing phase of the experiment. The results showed that alliterating binomials were not remembered more often than non-alliterating binomials. However, these results were based on data from a low number of participants. Therefore, this study could not derive any valid conclusions about the presence or absence of a mnemonic effect of alliteration in binomials in native speakers. Further studies will be needed to clarify this issue, taking into account a number of complicating factors that were encountered and evaluated in the present study.
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