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Structure selection during sentence production: A role for executive control?

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons4354

Van de Velde,  Maartje
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Nijmegen, NL;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons1187

Konopka,  Agnieszka E.
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons1167

Meyer,  Antje S.
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour;
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Radboud University Nijmegen;

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Fulltext (public)

VandeVelde_CUNY_2013.pdf
(Publisher version), 98KB

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Citation

Van de Velde, M., Konopka, A. E., & Meyer, A. S. (2013). Structure selection during sentence production: A role for executive control?. Poster presented at the 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing [CUNY 2013], Columbia, SC.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-EEA6-8
Abstract
Multiple syntactic alternatives are often available to express one message. One of the factors driving the choice for a syntactic frame is verb bias. This study focuses on the role of verb bias in the process of selecting a syntactic frame for dative sentences. While some verbs are typically used with one structure (e.g., voorleggen [submit] and the prepositional object dative in Dutch), other verbs have a weaker bias towards one syntactic frame (e.g., voorstellen [propose]): the latter can be used interchangeably in the prepositional object dative (PD) and double-object dative (DO) construction, and thus allows for some degree of syntactic flexibility during production. On one view, syntactic flexibility may facilitate production because it enables speakers to fill the post-verbal sentence slots with either a direct object or an indirect object (the incremental view), while on a different view, flexibility can lead to competition between structural alternatives, delaying the production of the sentence until this competition is resolved (the competition view)1. The two views make opposite predictions regarding the production of sentences featuring verbs with different biases. The incremental view predicts shorter verb onsets for sentences featuring weak-bias verbs than strong-bias verbs, while the competition view predicts shorter onsets for sentences with strong-bias verbs. In addition, if the competition view holds, sentence production may benefit from a mechanism that helps resolve competition between two syntactic frames by suppressing one frame to enable fast selection of the other frame. We hypothesized that executive control (EC) can mediate this selection process, facilitating structure selection in the weak verb bias condition.