Syntactic Priming in Chinese Sentence Comprehention: Evidence from Eye Movements and ERP
2012, 20 (11):
The syntactic priming effect in language production has been profoundly investigated during the last 20 years. The question remains, however, as to whether the effect would trigger the same processing in comprehension and production. Researchers have recently investigated the priming effect in the comprehension of Indo-European languages, leaving many disputes unsolved. Is the priming effect syntactic, strategic, or semantic? Is the effect lexically driven or lexically independent? In addition, is it language specific or language universal in human language comprehension? Given that the employment of a mere behavioral technique, eye tracking or ERP may not provide solid empirical support or the insightful theoretical explanation regarding those disputes, this study intends to explore the syntactic priming effect in Chinese sentence comprehension from an interdisciplinary perspective, embracing psychology, linguistics, and neurocognitive science, using both eye tracking and ERP. Based on the analysis of the consistent and inconsistent evidences provided by the eye tracking and ERP experiments, the researchers aim at finding out the cognitive characteristics and mechanisms of the syntactic priming effect in Chinese sentence comprehension as well as examining the adaption of the theories of implicit learning and argument structure in accounting for the syntactic priming effects.
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