Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Buchanan, Lori (Psychology)


Cognitive psychology.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Most research investigating brand names is aimed at understanding consumer-purchasing behaviours. Although there are a number of studies on brand names within the fields of marketing and advertising, there are relatively few within the field of psycholinguistics. Consequently, there is little knowledge about brand name representation, including how these representations become components of language. The psycholinguistic findings of the five experiments in this study are as follows: brand names have a lexicalized status, ambiguous brand names have a reaction time advantage over nonambiguous brand names, pronounceable nonwords benefit from high orthographic neighbourhoods of real English words, repeated exposure to nonwords does not necessarily improve memory based on orthography, and the addition of semantic content offers very little effect in improving memory for novel brand names (i.e., novel nonwords). This information forms the basis for the Stratified Brand Name Hypothesis, which will provide a springboard for further investigations of linguistic properties of brand names.