ERIC Number: EJ820025
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
Discourse-Based Word Anticipation during Language Processing: Prediction or Priming?
Otten, Marte; Van Berkum, Jos J. A.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v45 n6 p464-496 Nov 2008
Language is an intrinsically open-ended system. This fact has led to the widely shared assumption that readers and listeners do not predict upcoming words, at least not in a way that goes beyond simple priming between words. Recent evidence, however, suggests that readers and listeners do anticipate upcoming words "on the fly" as a text unfolds. In 2 event-related potentials experiments, this study examined whether these predictions are based on the exact message conveyed by the prior discourse or on simpler word-based priming mechanisms. Participants read texts that strongly supported the prediction of a specific word, mixed with non-predictive control texts that contained the same prime words. In Experiment 1A, anomalous words that replaced a highly predictable (as opposed to a non-predictable but coherent) word elicited a long-lasting positive shift, suggesting that the prior discourse had indeed led people to predict specific words. In Experiment 1B, adjectives whose suffix mismatched the predictable noun's syntactic gender elicited a short-lived late negativity in predictive stories but not in prime control stories. Taken together, these findings reveal that the conceptual basis for predicting specific upcoming words during reading is the exact message conveyed by the discourse and not the mere presence of prime words. (Contains 3 footnotes, 2 tables, and 5 figures.)
Descriptors: Prediction, Language Processing, Priming, Foreign Countries, Psycholinguistics, Form Classes (Languages), Indo European Languages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands