Two visual-world eyetracking experiments were conducted to investigate whether, how, and when syntactic and semantic constraints are integrated and used to predict properties of subsequent input. Experiment 1 contrasted auditory German constructions such as, The hare-nominative eats ... (the cabbage-acc) versus The hare-accusative eats ... (the fox-nom), presented with a picture containing a hare, fox, cabbage, and distractor. We found that the probabilities of the eye movements to the cabbage and fox before the onset of NP2 were modulated by the case-marking of NP1, indicating that the case-marking (syntactic) information and verbs'' semantic constraints are integrated rapidly enough to predict the most plausible NP2 in the scene. Using English versions of the same stimuli in active/passive voice (Experiment 2), we replicated the same effect, but at a slightly earlier position in the sentence. We discuss the discrepancies in the two Germanic languages in terms of the ease of integrating information across, or within, constituents.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of Psycholinguistic Research|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2003|
- Sentence processing
- Anticipatory eye movements
- Visual-world paradigm
- Germanic languages