Structural priming in language production: syntactic or semantic?

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Kim, Sanghee

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Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.13, pp. 63-84
structural priminglanguage productionsyntactic argumentsemantic argumentthematic role
This paper demonstrates an underlying mechanism for language production in structural priming. The study examines which among syntactic argument or semantic argument is a more essential factor for conceptualization in language production. Native speakers of English read a series of words and produced target sentences out loud in an RSVP sentence recall task. The experiment used hit verbs and spray-load verbs, which allowed locative alternation construction. There were three conditions, and both syntactic and semantic properties of the two arguments preceded by a verb varied by condition. The result showed neither syntactic nor semantic argument structure had significant influence on participants conceptualization. A post-hoc analysis, however, presented participants propensity to constructions that had the same thematic role. The present study thus suggests that structural priming is sensitive to thematic roles and that information on semantic arguments is an influential cause for conceptualization in language production.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU Working Papers in English Language and LinguisticsSNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics Vol.13 (2015)
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