Lexically-driven syntactic priming

Alissa Melinger, Christian Dobel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    Syntactic priming studies demonstrate that exposure to a particular syntactic structure leads speakers to reproduce the same structure in subsequent utterances. Explanations for this phenomenon rely on either the retrieval of morphosyntactic features associated with the verb in the prime sentence or the preservation of the mapping between message and word sequences in the prime sentence. Two experiments test the featural account of syntactic priming. We used single word primes to investigate the dative alternation in German (Experiment 1) and Dutch (Experiment 2). Native speakers read ditransitive verbs that are restricted either to the prepositional (dative) or double object construction, followed by pictures that can be described with either structure. We find that a single verb in isolation is sufficient to bias speakers’ production preferences supporting lexically-driven accounts of syntactic priming.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)B11-B20
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


    • Syntactic Priming
    • Sentence Production
    • Dative alternation
    • Syntactic features


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