ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (11): 1354-1365.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.01354

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


黄健1,2(), 杨子瑜2, 洪丹萍2, 刘喜琴3, 王穗苹1,2()   

  1. 1儿童青少年阅读与发展”教育部哲学社会科学实验室(华南师范大学), 广州 510631
    2华南师范大学心理学院, 广州 510631
    3华南理工大学外国语学院, 广州 511442
  • 收稿日期:2021-11-17 发布日期:2022-09-08 出版日期:2022-11-25
  • 通讯作者: 黄健,王穗苹;
  • 基金资助:

Different mechanisms for head and non-head words in the lexical boost effect on syntactic priming

HUANG Jian1,2(), YANG Ziyu2, HONG Danping2, LIU Xiqin3, WANG Suiping1,2()   

  1. 1Philosophy and Social Science Laboratory of Reading and Development in Children and Adolescents (South China Normal University), Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    3School of Foreign Languages, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 511442, China
  • Received:2021-11-17 Online:2022-09-08 Published:2022-11-25
  • Contact: HUANG Jian,WANG Suiping;


句法启动中, 非中心词和中心词重复是否诱发出相似强度的词汇增强效应, 目前存在着较大的理论争议。本研究在汉语双宾结构和介宾结构上分别操纵中心词和非中心词重复, 并在确保具有合适统计检验力基础上, 完成了3个句法启动实验。实验结果清楚地显示中心词重复诱发了稳定的词汇增强效应, 非中心词中的直接宾语重复也诱发了稳定但相对较弱的词汇增强效应。在此基础上, 我们尝试提出一个解释框架以调和现有的理论争议。

关键词: 句法启动, 词汇增强效应, 中心词, 非中心词, 普通话


Lexical boost means that syntactic priming is enhanced by the lexical repetition between prime and target. It remains controversial whether the repetition of head words and that of non-head words induce similar boost effects. Two important theories in syntactic priming, the residual activation theory and the implicit learning theory, have quite different interpretations and predictions. The former holds that only the head word repetition can induce a lexical boost, while the latter holds that the non-head word repetition can induce a lexical boost of the same magnitude as the head word repetition does. There are conflicting experimental results on whether head and non-head word repetitions have similar lexical boost effects.

We believe that one possible reason for the conflicting results in previous studies is that they lack sufficient power of the statistical test due to relatively small sample sizes. The present study explores the controversial issue by conducting three syntactic priming experiments of Mandarin double object (Experiments 1 and 3) and prepositional object (Experiment 2) structures, with a larger sample (115 participants each experiment) than that in previous research. To identify any possible difference in lexical boost effect, we manipulated the repetition of head constituents (i.e. verbs) and non-head constituents (i.e. argument nouns for agent, recipient, and theme) across prime and target.

In all three experiments, we found that the lexical boost effect induced by the head word repetition was steady. The effect induced by the head word repetition was significantly stronger than that induced by the non-head word repetition. This indicates that the head constituent, rather than non-heads, plays a key role in the lexical boost. In addition, we found that the overlap of the direct object as a non-head induced a steady effect of lexical boost (although the effect is relatively weak). In Experiment 3, the subject repetition also induced a lexical boost effect. To some extent, these results seem to support the implicit learning theory since memory does play a certain role in lexical boost.

The head word repetition and the non-head word repetition may reflect different cognitive mechanisms. We’d like to propose a new framework to interpret the lexical boost, which attempts to include both the residual activation theory and the implicit learning theory.

Key words: syntactic priming, lexical boost, head word, non-head word, Mandarin