Derived accessibility in sentence production : experimental investigations of structural and perceptual priming in german

  • This thesis reports three experiments on structural choices during grammatical encoding in monolingual adult speakers of German. Conceptual accessibility, one of the most central notions in language production research, as well as the phenomena of structural and perceptual priming are investigated. In the first two experiments, a manipulation in terms of inherent conceptual accessibility which has shown universal influences on language production - the factor animacy - is combined with a manipulation making the non-canonical passive structure itself more accessible via structural priming. Results show that, in addition to a preference for animate entities preceding inanimate entities, speakers can be structurally primed. Structural priming of passive structures led to significantly more passive responses compared to (intransitive) baseline structures. This holds for monologue settings (Experiment 1) as well as dialogue settings (Experiment 2). The structural priming effect was stronger in the dialogue setting compared to the monologue setting. The third experiment combines contexts manipulating the derived conceptual accessibility of one of two entities to be described with a visual cueing manipulation increasing the perceptual accessibility of one of the referents. Whereas a comprehensive literature review as well as the experimental work conducted within this thesis suggest that animacy and topicalization may exert universal influences on structural choices during language production, perceptual accessibility does not seem to have this potential. In line with previous cross-linguistic work, perceptual priming in form of an implicit visual cueing manipulation did not show significant effects on speakers' structural choices in German. These findings contrast with findings obtained for English, suggesting that language-specific characteristics in terms of word order flexibility may influence effcts on grammatical encoding during language production. Increasing the derived accessibility of one of two referents, however, once again showed significant influences on speakers' structural choices with the topicalization of a patient referent leading to an enhanced production of passive responses.

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Author:Yvonne Portele
Referee:Markus Bader, Sandra Pappert, Jacopo Torregrossa
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2021/04/13
Year of first Publication:2020
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2020/07/02
Release Date:2021/05/14
Tag:conceptual accessibility; language production; perceptual priming; structural choices; structural priming
Page Number:250
Institutes:Neuere Philologien
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 43 Deutsch, germanische Sprachen allgemein / 430 Germanische Sprachen; Deutsch
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht