Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 125–140 | Cite as

Context Improves Comprehension of Fronted Objects

  • Line Burholt KristensenEmail author
  • Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen
  • Mads Poulsen


Object-initial clauses (OCs) are associated with more processing difficulties than subject-initial clauses (SCs) in a number of languages (e.g. English, German and Finnish), but a supportive context can reduce or neutralize the difference between SCs and OCs with respect to reading times. Still, it is unresolved how context can affect the comprehension of OCs. In the present self-paced reading study of Danish, we therefore investigated both reading times, comprehension accuracy and response times for OCs and SCs. In line with previous studies on word order processing, OCs in an unsupportive context showed longer reading times than SCs, longer response times and a comprehension accuracy as poor as chance level. A manipulation of context showed no effect of reading time, but a supportive context had a stronger facilitating effect on comprehension (response accuracy and response time) for OCs than for SCs.


Word order Syntax Context Sentence processing Comprehension 

Supplementary material

10936_2013_9241_MOESM1_ESM.doc (95 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 95 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Line Burholt Kristensen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen
    • 2
  • Mads Poulsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut for Nordiske Studier og SprogvidenskabKøbenhavns UniversitetCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Scandinavian Studies and LinguisticsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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