Syntactic Priming in Comprehension

the Role of Argument Order and Animacy

Maria Nella Carminati (Lead / Corresponding author), Roger P. G. van-Gompel, Christoph Scheepers, Manabu Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two visual-world eye-movement experiments investigated the nature of syntactic priming during comprehension-specifically, whether the printing effects in ditransitive prepositional object (PO) and double object (DO) structures (e.g., "The wizard will send the poison to the prince/the prince the poison") are due to anticipation of structural properties following the verb (send) in the target sentence or to anticipation of animacy properties of the first postverbal noun. Shortly following the target verb onset. listeners looked at the recipient more (relative to the theme) following DO than PO primes, indicating that the structure of the prime affected listeners' eye gazes on the target scene. Crucially, this priming effect was the same irrespective of whether the postverbal nouns in the prime sentences did ("The monarch will send the painting to the president") or did not ("The monarch will send the envoy to the president") differ in animacy, suggesting that PO/DO priming in comprehension occurs because structural properties, rather than animacy features, are being primed when people process the ditransitive target verb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1110
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

Cite this

@article{2463791965724abba0fed3a1ae32ac5e,
title = "Syntactic Priming in Comprehension: the Role of Argument Order and Animacy",
abstract = "Two visual-world eye-movement experiments investigated the nature of syntactic priming during comprehension-specifically, whether the printing effects in ditransitive prepositional object (PO) and double object (DO) structures (e.g., {"}The wizard will send the poison to the prince/the prince the poison{"}) are due to anticipation of structural properties following the verb (send) in the target sentence or to anticipation of animacy properties of the first postverbal noun. Shortly following the target verb onset. listeners looked at the recipient more (relative to the theme) following DO than PO primes, indicating that the structure of the prime affected listeners' eye gazes on the target scene. Crucially, this priming effect was the same irrespective of whether the postverbal nouns in the prime sentences did ({"}The monarch will send the painting to the president{"}) or did not ({"}The monarch will send the envoy to the president{"}) differ in animacy, suggesting that PO/DO priming in comprehension occurs because structural properties, rather than animacy features, are being primed when people process the ditransitive target verb.",
author = "Carminati, {Maria Nella} and van-Gompel, {Roger P. G.} and Christoph Scheepers and Manabu Arai",
year = "2008",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1037/a0012795",
language = "English",
volume = "34",
pages = "1098--1110",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition",
issn = "0278-7393",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
number = "5",

}

Syntactic Priming in Comprehension : the Role of Argument Order and Animacy. / Carminati, Maria Nella (Lead / Corresponding author); van-Gompel, Roger P. G.; Scheepers, Christoph; Arai, Manabu.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, Vol. 34, No. 5, 09.2008, p. 1098-1110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Syntactic Priming in Comprehension

T2 - the Role of Argument Order and Animacy

AU - Carminati, Maria Nella

AU - van-Gompel, Roger P. G.

AU - Scheepers, Christoph

AU - Arai, Manabu

PY - 2008/9

Y1 - 2008/9

N2 - Two visual-world eye-movement experiments investigated the nature of syntactic priming during comprehension-specifically, whether the printing effects in ditransitive prepositional object (PO) and double object (DO) structures (e.g., "The wizard will send the poison to the prince/the prince the poison") are due to anticipation of structural properties following the verb (send) in the target sentence or to anticipation of animacy properties of the first postverbal noun. Shortly following the target verb onset. listeners looked at the recipient more (relative to the theme) following DO than PO primes, indicating that the structure of the prime affected listeners' eye gazes on the target scene. Crucially, this priming effect was the same irrespective of whether the postverbal nouns in the prime sentences did ("The monarch will send the painting to the president") or did not ("The monarch will send the envoy to the president") differ in animacy, suggesting that PO/DO priming in comprehension occurs because structural properties, rather than animacy features, are being primed when people process the ditransitive target verb.

AB - Two visual-world eye-movement experiments investigated the nature of syntactic priming during comprehension-specifically, whether the printing effects in ditransitive prepositional object (PO) and double object (DO) structures (e.g., "The wizard will send the poison to the prince/the prince the poison") are due to anticipation of structural properties following the verb (send) in the target sentence or to anticipation of animacy properties of the first postverbal noun. Shortly following the target verb onset. listeners looked at the recipient more (relative to the theme) following DO than PO primes, indicating that the structure of the prime affected listeners' eye gazes on the target scene. Crucially, this priming effect was the same irrespective of whether the postverbal nouns in the prime sentences did ("The monarch will send the painting to the president") or did not ("The monarch will send the envoy to the president") differ in animacy, suggesting that PO/DO priming in comprehension occurs because structural properties, rather than animacy features, are being primed when people process the ditransitive target verb.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=55049133261&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0012795

DO - 10.1037/a0012795

M3 - Article

VL - 34

SP - 1098

EP - 1110

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition

SN - 0278-7393

IS - 5

ER -