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ERIC Number: EJ952317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
The Influence of Topic Status on Written and Spoken Sentence Production
Cowles, H. Wind; Ferreira, Victor S.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v49 n1 p1-28 2012
Four experiments investigate the influence of topic status and givenness on how speakers and writers structure sentences. The results of these experiments show that when a referent is previously given, it is more likely to be produced early in both sentences and word lists, confirming prior work showing that givenness increases the accessibility of given referents. When a referent is previously given and assigned topic status, it is even more likely to be produced early in a sentence, but not in a word list. Thus, there appears to be an early mention advantage for topics that is present in both written and spoken modalities but is specific to sentence production. These results suggest that information-structure constructs, like topic, exert an influence that is not based only on increased accessibility but also reflects mapping to syntactic structure during sentence production. (Contains 2 figures, 5 tables, and 3 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; 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: California; Florida