Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 37–55

Integration of Syntactic and Semantic Information in Predictive Processing: Cross-Linguistic Evidence from German and English

  • Yuki Kamide
  • Christoph Scheepers
  • Gerry T. M. Altmann
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1021933015362

Cite this article as:
Kamide, Y., Scheepers, C. & Altmann, G.T.M. J Psycholinguist Res (2003) 32: 37. doi:10.1023/A:1021933015362

Abstract

Two visual-world eyetracking experiments were conducted to investigate whether, how, and when syntactic and semantic constraints are integrated and used to predict properties of subsequent input. Experiment 1 contrasted auditory German constructions such as, “The hare-nominative eats ... (the cabbage-acc)” versus “The hare-accusative eats ... (the fox-nom),” presented with a picture containing a hare, fox, cabbage, and distractor. We found that the probabilities of the eye movements to the cabbage and fox before the onset of NP2 were modulated by the case-marking of NP1, indicating that the case-marking (syntactic) information and verbs' semantic constraints are integrated rapidly enough to predict the most plausible NP2 in the scene. Using English versions of the same stimuli in active/passive voice (Experiment 2), we replicated the same effect, but at a slightly earlier position in the sentence. We discuss the discrepancies in the two Germanic languages in terms of the ease of integrating information across, or within, constituents.

sentence processing anticipatory eye movements visual-world paradigm prediction Germanic languages 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuki Kamide
    • 1
  • Christoph Scheepers
    • 2
  • Gerry T. M. Altmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of YorkUK
  2. 2.Department of Computational LinguisticsSaarland UniversityGermany

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