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Processing relative clauses in context: what kind of priming from the preceding context is most effective?

Wu, Zhaohong (2015) Processing relative clauses in context: what kind of priming from the preceding context is most effective? Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examines the influence of different kinds of preceding contexts on the processing of relative clauses. Through both a Chinese and an English version of an experiment, with native speakers recruited for each version, this study systematically compared the processing of relative clauses in a canonical, non-canonical, and “null” context in both Chinese and English and was the first to systematically examine three accounts of priming (the thematic pattern priming account proposed by Lin (2014), in addition to both the verb phrase constituent priming account and the syntactic position sequence priming account proposed by Fedorenko, Piantadosi, and Gibson (2012)) in relative clause processing in both Chinese and English. Results showed discrepancies between predictions from each priming account and the actual results. None of the three priming accounts could sufficiently explain the results in Chinese and English. Alternative possible explanations were suggested, including: (1) having a context makes relative clause reading more natural and frequency effects less obvious; (2) the NPs inside the RCs are primed by the original thematic roles or grammatical functions of same NPs in the critical context sentence; (3) an interplay of all three different kinds of priming in the processing of relative clauses in context may occur.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wu, Zhaohongzhw39@pitt.eduZHW39
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.eduJUFFS
Committee MemberShirai, Yasuhiroyshirai@pitt.eduYSHIRAI
Committee MemberWarren, Tessatessa@pitt.eduTESSA
Date: 1 June 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 November 2014
Approval Date: 1 June 2015
Submission Date: 25 March 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 67
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese relative clauses; priming
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 19:22
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:26


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