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Structural priming within and across languages: a corpus-based perspective*

  • STEFAN TH. GRIES (a1) and GERRIT JAN KOOTSTRA (a2)

Abstract

Structural priming is the phenomenon that speakers tend to re-use structures they have recently comprehended or produced themselves. Most studies on this topic are experimental and looked at within-language priming. However, there are now also many observational studies, a development that is inextricably related to new/larger corpora, new statistical methodologies, and new theoretical ideas. Second, there is a growing body of research on cross-linguistic structural priming, though mostly experimental. These developments lead to a new potential research avenue: cross-linguistic priming on the basis of observational data. Here, we will first summarize some fundamental studies of cross-linguistic priming, and then trace the historical development of observational studies of structural priming to showcase how statistical and theoretical developments have shaped research on priming in general and discuss what such observational priming research has offered to within-language priming research. We end with a discussion of how this research can inform cross-linguistic priming.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Stefan Th. Gries, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3100, United States of America stgries@linguistics.ucsb.edu

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*

We wish to thank our reviewers and the editorial team for their feedback on previous versions of this paper; the usual disclaimers apply. Part of the writing of this article (by G.J. Kootstra) was supported by NSF grant OISE-0968369 to Judith Kroll, Janet van Hell, and Paola Dussias.f

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