American Journal of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Articles Information
American Journal of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Vol.5, No.1, Mar. 2020, Pub. Date: Mar. 18, 2020
Priming Effects of Hierarchical Graphics on Chinese Ambiguous Structures
Pages: 1-13 Views: 240 Downloads: 94
[01] Tao Zeng, College of Foreign Languages, Hunan University, Changsha, China; Hunan Provincial Research Center for Language and Cognition, Changsha, China.
[02] Yarong Gao, College of Foreign Languages, Hunan University, Changsha, China.
[03] Xiaoya Li, College of Foreign Languages, Hunan University, Changsha, China.
Inspired by the researches concerning structural priming across cognitive domains, this study investigated the priming effects from hierarchical graphics to Chinese structures. Unlike syntactic priming, structural priming refers to the tendency to repeat or process a current sentence better due to its structural similarity to the previously experienced “prime”, which can be abstract structures and even independent of language, as long as the prime and the target share some aspects of abstract structural representation. Since both abstract graphics and specific structures share similar hierarchical structures, this research conducted the priming experiment with eye tracking technique to verify structural priming effects from hierarchical graphics to Chinese ambiguous structures. The study adopted the sentence comprehension task through EyelinkII which covered two variant ambiguous structures: Quantifier + NP1 + De + NP2 and NP1 + Kan/WangZhe + NP2 + AP. There were 24 sets of materials and every set contained three priming hierarchical graphics and a target sentence. The priming conditions were high-attachment prime condition, low-attachment prime condition and baseline prime condition respectively. The target sentences were ambiguous, for example, liangge xuesheng de jiazhang ‘two parents of the students’ or ‘two students’ parents’. Then, a question followed, for example, xuesheng jiazhang de shuliangshi? ‘What is the number of parents?’ The different choice representing different comprehension of the target sentence, for choice A was liangge ‘two’ resulting from high-attachment comprehension, while choice B was buqueding ‘uncertain’ resulting from low-attachment comprehension. The comprehension task aimed to verify whether the structure of hierarchical graphics affected the tendency of target sentences comprehension. Results showed that there is priming effect from abstract graphics to Chinese ambiguous structures according to behavioral data and eye movement pattern, which indicated that hierarchical graphics and language shared similar structural representations.
Hierarchical Graphics, Chinese Ambiguous Sentence, Structural Priming, Structural Representation
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