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