Priming ditransitive structures in comprehension

Manabu Arai, Roger P. G. van-Gompel, Christoph Scheepers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have shown evidence for syntactic priming during language production (e.g., Bock, 1986). It is often assumed that comprehension and production share similar mechanisms and that priming also occurs during comprehension (e.g., Pickering & Garrod, 2004). Research investigating priming during comprehension (e.g., Branigan et al., 2005 and Scheepers and Crocker, 2004) has mainly focused on syntactic ambiguities that are very different from the meaning-equivalent structures used in production research. In two experiments, we investigated whether priming during comprehension occurs in ditransitive sentences similar to those used in production research. When the verb was repeated between prime and target, we observed a priming effect similar to that in production. However, we observed no evidence for priming when the verbs were different. Thus, priming during comprehension occurs for very similar structures as priming during production, but in contrast to production, the priming effect is completely lexically dependent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-250
Number of pages33
JournalCognitive Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Language comprehension
  • Sentence processing
  • Syntactic priming
  • Anticipatory eye movements


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