Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 167–185 | Cite as

Pre- and Post-head Processing for Single- and Double-Scrambled Sentences of a Head-Final Language as Measured by the Eye Tracking Method

  • Katsuo TamaokaEmail author
  • Michiko Asano
  • Yayoi Miyaoka
  • Kazuhiko Yokosawa


Using the eye-tracking method, the present study depicted pre- and post-head processing for simple scrambled sentences of head-final languages. Three versions of simple Japanese active sentences with ditransitive verbs were used: namely, (1) \(\text{ SO }_{\!1\!}\text{ O }_{\!2\!}\text{ V }\) canonical, (2) \(\text{ SO }_{\!2\!}\text{ O }_{\!1\!}\text{ V }\) single-scrambled, and (3) \(\text{ O }_{\!1\!}\text{ O }_{\!2\!}\text{ SV }\) double-scrambled order. First pass reading times indicated that the third noun phrase just before the verb in both single- and double-scrambled sentences required longer reading times compared to canonical sentences. Re-reading times (the sum of all fixations minus the first pass reading) showed that all noun phrases including the crucial phrase before the verb in double-scrambled sentences required longer re-reading times than those required for single-scrambled sentences; single-scrambled sentences had no difference from canonical ones. Therefore, a single filler-gap dependency can be resolved in pre-head anticipatory processing whereas two filler-gap dependencies require much greater cognitive loading than a single case. These two dependencies can be resolved in post-head processing using verb agreement information.


Head-final language Gap-filling parsing Scrambling  Pre-head and post-head processing Eye-tracking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katsuo Tamaoka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michiko Asano
    • 2
  • Yayoi Miyaoka
    • 3
  • Kazuhiko Yokosawa
    • 4
  1. 1.Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Keio UniversityFujisawaJapan
  3. 3.Hiroshima University of EconomicsHiroshimaJapan
  4. 4.The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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