Lexically-independent representation of the monotransitive structure

Manabu Arai (Lead / Corresponding author), Roger P. G. van Gompel

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Many previous studies have shown that syntactic priming is stronger when the verb is repeated between the prime and target sentences. This phenomenon is known as the lexical boost and has been interpreted as evidence for a direct association between individual verbs and structural information. However, in previous experiments, we found no lexical boost with the monotransitive structure and argued that this structure is not associated with individual lexical items. The results of these experiments instead suggested that monotransitive structure information is represented at the category-general level. The current study examined whether this finding generalises to verbs that can take either a monotransitive structure or a ditransitive structure. Our results demonstrated a lexical boost with double object ditransitive primes but not with monotransitive primes. This suggests that the monotransitive structure is indeed represented at the category-general level across different classes of verbs, whereas other structures are represented at the lexically specific level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1773-1789
Number of pages17
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number9
Early online date9 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Structural priming
  • category-general representation
  • lexical boost
  • lexically specific representation
  • syntactic representation
  • syntax
  • verb subcategorisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Physiology (medical)


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