Syntactic and Thematic Processing in Sentence Comprehension: Evidence for a Temporal Dissociation

Brian McElree, Teresa Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The time courses for processing constituent structure relations, subcategorization restrictions, and thematic role relations during sentence comprehension were measured with reaction time and speed-accuracy trade-off variants of a grammaticality judgment task. Thematic role processing was found to be delayed by as much as 100 ms relative to the time when constituent structure and subcategorization information were processed. These data suggest a model of sentence comprehension in which the construction of a syntactic representation temporally leads the construction of a more embellished thematic representation. Serial and parallel variants of such a model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-157
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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