ERIC Number: EJ1003453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
Effects of Local and Global Context on Processing Sentences with Subject and Object Relative Clauses
Yang, Fang; Mo, Lun; Louwerse, Max M.
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v42 n3 p227-237 Jun 2013
An eye tracking study investigated the effects of local and global discourse context on the processing of subject and object relative clauses, whereby the contexts favored either a subject relative clause interpretation or an object relative clause interpretation. The fixation data replicated previous studies showing that object relative clause sentences were more difficult to process than subject relative sentences. Crucially, however, the reading difficulty asymmetry between subject and object relative clause sentences disappeared when the sentences were presented with a local or a global discourse context that favored the objects in the object relative clauses. These findings demonstrate that the evidence for a syntax-based account of sentence processing is found when sentences are presented in isolation. However, if sentences are placed more naturally, in context, discourse factors outweigh the initial structural assignment.
Descriptors: Syntax, Language Patterns, Sentences, Context Effect, Language Processing, Phrase Structure, Difficulty Level, Evidence, Discourse Analysis, Reading Processes, Eye Movements, Form Classes (Languages), Psycholinguistics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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