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Verb-based prediction during language processing: the case of Dutch and Turkish

  • Susanne BROUWER (a1), Deniz ÖZKAN (a2) and Aylin C. KÜNTAY (a2)

Abstract

This study investigated whether cross-linguistic differences affect semantic prediction. We assessed this by looking at two languages, Dutch and Turkish, that differ in word order and thus vary in how words come together to create sentence meaning. In an eye-tracking task, Dutch and Turkish four-year-olds (N = 40), five-year-olds (N = 58), and adults (N = 40) were presented with a visual display containing two familiar objects (e.g., a cake and a tree). Participants heard semantically constraining (e.g., “The boy eats the big cake”) or neutral sentences (e.g., “The boy sees the big cake”) in their native language. The Dutch data revealed a prediction effect for children and adults; however, it was larger for the adults. The Turkish data revealed no prediction effect for the children but only for the adults. These findings reveal that experience with word order structures and/or automatization of language processing routines may lead to timecourse differences in semantic prediction.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Radboud University – Dutch Language and Culture, Erasmusplein 1, Nijmegen 6525 HT, Netherlands. E-mail: s.brouwer@let.ru.nl

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Verb-based prediction during language processing: the case of Dutch and Turkish

  • Susanne BROUWER (a1), Deniz ÖZKAN (a2) and Aylin C. KÜNTAY (a2)

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