ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (3): 283-293.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00283

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


于宙, 张清芳()   

  1. 中国人民大学心理学系, 北京 100872
  • 收稿日期:2019-04-26 发布日期:2020-01-18 出版日期:2020-03-25
  • 通讯作者: 张清芳
  • 基金资助:
    * 北京市社会科学基金重点项目(16YYA006);国家自然科学基金面上项目(31471074);中国人民大学科学研究基金项目(中央高校基本科研业务费专项)(18XNLG28);中国人民大学心理系科学研究基金(中央高校基本科研业务费专项资金资助)项目资助

Syntactic structure and verb overlap influence the syntactic priming effect in Mandarin spoken sentence production

YU Zhou, ZHANG Qingfang()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2019-04-26 Online:2020-01-18 Published:2020-03-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Qingfang


研究中采用启动范式和图片描述任务, 利用句法选择比率和句子产生潜伏期的两个指标, 考察了启动句句法结构、动词是否相同和延时对汉语口语句子产生中句法启动效应的影响。结果发现在选择比率上, 句法结构产生的启动效应随延时变化保持稳定, 由启动句和目标句动词相同导致的启动效应的提高量(词汇增强效应)快速衰退, 首次为句子产生过程的句法选择阶段和计划阶段提供了证据。在句子产生潜伏期上, 仅发现启动句和目标句句法结构相同时缩短了句子产生潜伏期, 这可能是由于启动句句法结构激活水平的提高, 使得说话者在目标句产生的句法计划和选择阶段都更快引起的。选择阶段的加工影响句法选择比率, 而选择阶段和计划阶段共同影响了句子产生的潜伏期, 实验结果支持了两阶段竞争理论的观点。

关键词: 句子产生, 两阶段竞争理论, 句法启动效应, 词汇增强效应


In sentence production, syntactic priming effect refers to a phenomenon that speakers or writers tend to reuse syntactic structures that they have recently processed, and the repeated syntactic structures elicit shorter sentence production latencies than the novel ones. Different theories have been proposed to account for the syntactic priming effect. Among them, both the Residual Activation Theory and the Implicit Learning Theory aim to address speakers’ syntactic choices ratio, but with different theoretical bases on memory and learning, respectively. In addition, the Two-stage Competition Model attempts to explain the syntactic priming in syntactic choices ratio as well as production latencies. Experimental works have demonstrated that syntactic priming stably exists even after excluding the semantic and lexical relevance between the prime sentence and the target sentence, which suggests that syntactic priming actually reflects syntactic processing in sentence production.
In the present study, we explored the cognitive mechanism of syntactic processing in Mandarin spoken sentence production using a syntactic priming paradigm. In this paradigm, participants were firstly instructed to read the prime sentence aloud and then judge whether the sentence’s description matched the prime picture. Then, participants were instructed to describe the target picture using the verb at the bottom. The dependent variables included not only the syntactic choices ratio but also the sentence production latencies. In experiment 1, we manipulated syntax structure of the prime sentence (double object dative vs. prepositional object dative) and verb overlap between the prime sentence and the target sentence (no verb overlap vs. verb overlap). In experiment 2, we added a within-subjects factor of lag by manipulating whether the target picture was presented immediately after the prime sentence, or after two or six intervening descriptions (Lag 0 vs. Lag 2 vs. Lag 6).
For the syntactic choices ratio, results indicated that participants produced significantly more double-object sentences following double-object primes than following prepositional-object primes, and the syntactic priming was much stronger in the verb overlapping condition than in the verb non-overlapping condition. Furthermore, we found that the syntactic priming effect persisted when the prime sentence and the target sentence did not share the verb, whereas the lexical boost effect (i.e. a stronger syntactic priming effect caused by the verb overlap between the prime sentence and the target sentence) disappeared after six intervening descriptions. For the sentence production latencies, results indicated that the repetition of syntactic structures significantly speeded up target sentence production. Besides, we found that verb overlap slowed down the sentence production as the lag between primes and targets increased (also known as the lexical suppression effect) only when the syntactic structure was repeated.
Unifying the different findings in the syntactic choices ratio and the production latencies, we suggest that, apart from the stage where a sentence is planned specifically, sentence production comprises a syntactic construction stage in which speakers map the thematic roles to one structural alternative. These findings are consistent with the Two-stage Competition Model. In methodology, we also suggest that syntactic choices ratio is sensitive to sentence generation process.

Key words: sentence production, Two-stage Competition Model, syntactic priming effect, lexical boost effect