ERIC Number: EJ721346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Effects of Age, Animacy and Activation Order on Sentence Production
Altmann, Lori J. P.; Kemper, Susan
Language and Cognitive Processes, v21 n1-3 p322-354 Jan-Apr 2006
The current study examines whether young and older adults have similar preferences for animate-subject and active sentences, and for using the order of activation of a verb's arguments to determine sentence structure. Ninety-six participants produced sentences in response to three-word stimuli that included a verb and two nouns differing in animacy. Dependent variables included accuracy, sentence structure produced, and production times for active vs. passive sentences. Neither group shows a strict preference for active sentences, but the two groups are differentially sensitive to animacy and the order of noun activation. Results suggest that sentence structure choice is a probabilistic, constraint-satisfaction process during which these factors interact.
Descriptors: Verbs, Older Adults, Young Adults, Nouns, Sentence Structure, Language Processing, Structural Analysis (Linguistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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