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ERIC Number: EJ845722
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Persistence of Emphasis in Language Production: A Cross-Linguistic Approach
Bernolet, Sarah; Hartsuiker, Robert J.; Pickering, Martin J.
Cognition, v112 n2 p300-317 Aug 2009
This study investigates the way in which speakers determine which aspects of an utterance to emphasize and how this affects the form of utterances. To do this, we ask whether the binding between emphasis and thematic roles persists between utterances. In one within-language (Dutch-Dutch) and three cross-linguistic (Dutch-English) structural priming experiments, we measured persistence effects for four different Dutch transitives (actives, PP-initial passives, PP-medial passives, and PP-final passives). Whereas English allows only one passive (PP-final passive), Dutch allows three different variants with the same functional assignment, but different constituent structures. Additionally, the degree of emphasis on the agent differs significantly between the PP-initial passive and the other passives (Experiment 1). Experiment 2 showed persistence of actives, PP-medial, and PP-final passives in Dutch, but no priming between passives with different constituent structures. Experiments 3 and 4, however, showed that both PP-medial and PP-final passives prime the use of English passives. Experiment 5 confirmed that the emphasis on thematic roles persists: the proportion of passives in the PP-initial passive condition fell midway between the proportions produced in the active and PP-medial passive condition. (Contains 1 table and 7 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A