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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (12) : 1380-1387     DOI:
The Simulation Process of Chinese Simple Negative Declarative Sentence
GAO Zhi-Hua;LU Zhong-Yi;MA Hong-Xia
(1 College of Psychology, Hebei United University, Tangshan 063000, China)
(2 College of Education, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050091, China)
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Abstract  The Experiential View of Language Comprehension, which derived from Embodied Cognition in Psychology, proposes that the comprehender is an immersed experiencer of the described situation and comprehension is the vicarious experience of the described situation. But it has difficulty in abstract language comprehension. Kaup and her colleagues (2003, 2007b) attempted to explain negative operator from the frame of embodied cognition and proposed “Two-Step Simulation Hypothesis”. In comprehension of negative sentence, comprehender simulates the negated state of affairs depicted in the sentence in the first step, and then starts shifting his attention away from the negated state of affairs and onto the simulation of the actual state of affairs in the second step. Kaup and her colleagues (2007a) demonstrated the negated state was simulated when the delay between sentences and pictures was 250ms, but such result was achieved from the negative sentences whose actual state were indefinite; in 2006, they found the simulation of the actual state when the delay was 1500ms in the negative sentences with definite actual state. But the conclusion is susceptive for its bases on different types of negative sentences and different languages (English and German). So the present study aims to explore the simulation process of Chinese simple negative declarative sentences and test the “Two-Step Simulation Hypothesis”.
The self-paced reading technique was adopted to explore the characteristics of simulation processes of Chinese simple negative declarative sentences on Pentium III computer, using E- Prime software. The Chinese affirmative and negative sentences with contradictory predicates paired with pictures that corresponding to the contradictory states described by the sentences, which composed matched and mismatched condition for sentence-picture pair, matched and mismatched. Subjects were required to self-regulate their reading. When subjects finish reading one sentence and press the space key, a “+” would appear in the center of the screen for 250ms, 750ms and 1500ms respectively, then the picture would present in the center and prompted subjects to press the “Yes” or ”No” key to decide whether the object in the picture is mentioned in the previous sentence. Some questions for checking understanding of the previous sentences are asked and required the subject to response with pressure on “Yes” or ”No” key. The response times for pictures were analyzed by mixed repeated analysis of variance.
In Experiment 1, 250ms as the probe time for initial stage of comprehension, the response time of matched state was shorter than the mismatched state significantly in both affirmative and negative sentences. In experiment 2, 750ms for the middle stage, there was no significant difference between matched and mismatched state. In experiment 3, 1500ms for last stage, the response time of matched state was shorter than the mismatched state significantly in both affirmative and negative sentences again.
The result denied the “Two-Step Simulation Hypothesis”, which indicated that simple negative sentences comprehension didn’t always follow the orders predicated by the Two-Step Simulation Hypothesis. The simulation of actual state of affair can be achieved at the initial period.
Keywords negation      Two-Step Simulation Hypothesis      match/mismatch effects     
Corresponding Authors: LU Zhong-Yi   
Issue Date: 30 December 2011
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GAO Zhi-Hua
LU Zhong-Yi
MA Hong-Xia
Cite this article:   
GAO Zhi-Hua,LU Zhong-Yi,MA Hong-Xia. The Simulation Process of Chinese Simple Negative Declarative Sentence[J]. , 2011, 43(12): 1380-1387.
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