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ERIC Number: EJ1080416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Skipping Syntactically Illegal "the" Previews: The Role of Predictability
Abbott, Matthew J.; Angele, Bernhard; Ahn, Y. Danbi; Rayner, Keith
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n6 p1703-1714 Nov 2015
Readers tend to skip words, particularly when they are short, frequent, or predictable. Angele and Rayner (2013) recently reported that readers are often unable to detect syntactic anomalies in parafoveal vision. In the present study, we manipulated target word predictability to assess whether contextual constraint modulates "the"-skipping behavior. The results provide further evidence that readers frequently skip the article the when infelicitous in context. Readers skipped predictable words more often than unpredictable words, even when "the," which was syntactically illegal and unpredictable from the prior context, was presented as a parafoveal preview. The results of the experiment were simulated using E-Z Reader 10 by assuming that cloze probability can be dissociated from parafoveal visual input. It appears that when a short word is predictable in context, a decision to skip it can be made even if the information available parafoveally conflicts both visually and syntactically with those predictions.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: HD065829