In this study, the recurrent perseverative errors produced by 44 speakers without impairment were examined in picture naming and reading aloud tasks under a fast response deadline. The proportion of perseverative relative to non-perseverative errors was greater in picture naming, the more error-prone task, than in reading aloud. Additionally, although perseverative errors were less likely to be related to the target than non-perseverative errors, the overall distribution of perseverative and non-perseverative errors in each task was similar. It is concluded that the perseverative errors produced by the participants reflected both the degree and level at which language processing efficiency was reduced in each task. This is consistent with a more recent account of perseveration as a result of normally existing persistent activation overcoming weakened activation of a target at any level of language processing. These results are compared with recent studies of recurrent perseverative errors produced by people with aphasia in light of the cognitive neuropsychological assumption that speakers with and without impairment utilise a common language processing system.