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ERIC Number: EJ1006947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Alignment as a Consequence of Expectation Adaptation: Syntactic Priming Is Affected by the Prime's Prediction Error Given both Prior and Recent Experience
Jaeger, T. Florian; Snider, Neal E.
Cognition, v127 n1 p57-83 Apr 2013
Speakers show a remarkable tendency to align their productions with their interlocutors'. Focusing on sentence production, we investigate the cognitive systems underlying such alignment (syntactic priming). Our guiding hypothesis is that syntactic priming is a consequence of a language processing system that is organized to achieve efficient communication in an ever-changing (subjectively non-stationary) environment. We build on recent work suggesting that comprehenders adapt to the statistics of the current environment. If such adaptation is rational or near-rational, the extent to which speakers adapt their expectations for a syntactic structure after processing a prime sentence should be sensitive to the prediction error experienced while processing the prime. This prediction is shared by certain error-based implicit learning accounts, but not by most other accounts of syntactic priming. In three studies, we test this prediction against data from conversational speech, speech during picture description, and written production during sentence completion. All three studies find stronger syntactic priming for primes associated with a larger prediction error (primes with higher syntactic surprisal). We find that the relevant prediction error is sensitive to both prior and recent experience within the experiment. Together with other findings, this supports accounts that attribute syntactic priming to expectation adaptation. (Contains 4 tables and 11 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A