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ERIC Number: EJ860049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Memory Operations that Support Language Comprehension: Evidence from Verb-Phrase Ellipsis
Martin, Andrea E.; McElree, Brian
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n5 p1231-1239 Sep 2009
Comprehension of verb-phrase ellipsis (VPE) requires reevaluation of recently processed constituents, which often necessitates retrieval of information about the elided constituent from memory. A. E. Martin and B. McElree (2008) argued that representations formed during comprehension are content addressable and that VPE antecedents are retrieved from memory via a cue-dependent direct-access pointer rather than via a search process. This hypothesis was further tested by manipulating the location of interfering material--either before the onset of the antecedent (proactive interference; PI) or intervening between antecedent and ellipsis site (retroactive interference; RI). The speed-accuracy tradeoff procedure was used to measure the time course of VPE processing. The location of the interfering material affected VPE comprehension accuracy: RI conditions engendered lower accuracy than PI conditions. Crucially, location did not affect the speed of processing VPE, which is inconsistent with both forward and backward search mechanisms. The observed time-course profiles are consistent with the hypothesis that VPE antecedents are retrieved via a cue-dependent direct-access operation. (Contains 4 tables, 3 figures, and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. 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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York