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ERIC Number: EJ1059622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: EISSN-1539-0578
Effects of Forward and Backward Contextual Elaboration on Lexical Inferences: Evidence from a Semantic Relatedness Judgment Task
Hamada, Akira
Reading in a Foreign Language, v27 n1 p1-21 Apr 2015
Three experiments examined whether the process of lexical inferences differs according to the direction of contextual elaboration using a semantic relatedness judgment task. In Experiment 1, Japanese university students read English sentences where target unknown words were semantically elaborated by prior contextual information (forward lexical inferences) and by subsequent contextual information (backward lexical inferences). Accuracy of semantic relatedness judgments, and reaction times to target-probe words demonstrated that participants could activate lexical inferences in either case. These findings were replicated in Experiments 2 and 3, where sentence chunks were presented one at a time to prevent the use of a rereading strategy. Taken together, the results suggest that whereas the processes of forward lexical inferences are involved in context-word integration by anticipating upcoming word meanings, those of backward lexical inferences are operating an unknown word in working memory, finding highly elaborative contexts, and then integrating the contextual message with the possible meaning.
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan