Processing Chinese relative clauses in context

Edward Gibson*, H. H.Iris Wu


研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

97 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


This paper presents a self-paced reading experiment comparing the processing of subject-extracted relative clauses (SRCs) and object-extracted relative clauses (ORCs) in supportive contexts in Chinese. It is argued that lack of a consistent pattern in the literature for the comparison between Chinese SRCs and ORCs is due to potential temporary ambiguity in these constructions in null contexts. By placing the materials in contexts biased towards a relative clause (RC) interpretation, we limit the effects of temporary ambiguity. The results of the experiment demonstrate that SRCs are read more slowly than ORCs in supportive contexts. These results provide evidence for working memory-based sentence processing theories whereby processing difficulty increases for connecting sentence elements that are further apart. Some convergent evidence that strengthens these conclusions comes from recent research on aphasic populations where a dissociation between English and Chinese RC processing has been revealed: whereas English aphasic patients have more difficulty with ORCs and Chinese aphasic patients have more difficulty with SRCs (Su, Lee, & Chung, 2007). Taken together, these results support the idea that sentence processing is constrained by working memory limitations.

頁(從 - 到)125-155
期刊Language and Cognitive Processes
出版狀態已發佈 - 2013 1月

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 實驗與認知心理學
  • 語言與語言學
  • 教育
  • 語言和語言學


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