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ERIC Number: EJ781402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
On the Universality of Language Comprehension Strategies: Evidence from Turkish
Demiral, Sukru Baris; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina
Cognition, v106 n1 p484-500 Jan 2008
A fundamental question in psycholinguistic research concerns the universality of comprehension strategies. We investigated this issue by examining the so-called "subject preference" in Turkish, a language which allows for a natural (unmarked) object reading of an initial ambiguous argument. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), we observed increased processing difficulty in the form of a broadly distributed positivity when an initial ambiguous argument was disambiguated towards an object reading. This effect was independent of the animacy (i.e. semantic subject prototypicality) of the ambiguous argument. Our results therefore speak in favour of a universal tendency to interpret the first argument encountered as the "subject" of the clause, even in languages providing no obvious structural motivation for such a strategy. However, we argue that the underlying explanation for this preference must be modified in accordance with cross-linguistic considerations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A