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Ambiguity and Priming in Silent Structures - Evidence from Comprehension of Null Objects

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2023, 80(4), pp.159-194
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.80.4.202311.159
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : October 11, 2023
  • Accepted : November 8, 2023
  • Published : November 30, 2023

Chorong Kang 1 Ko, Heejeong 1 HYUNWOO KIM 2

1서울대학교
2연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

It has been demonstrated that structural priming affects ambiguity resolution. However, whether structural priming affects the processing of silent ambiguous structures has not been discussed in depth. This study investigates the impact of structural priming on the comprehension of silent ambiguous structures, focusing on null object constructions in Korean. These constructions are ambiguous in terms of how the null object is linked to its referent. An experiment was conducted to examine how Korean native speakers interpret null object constructions, and the results show that they are likely to interpret a null object in the target sentence in a manner consistent with how they processed a null object in the preceding prime sentence when both the prime and target sentences include a null object. Compared to a previous study that did not observe priming effects, we conclude that priming effects in comprehending a null object could be restricted within the context where the source of ambiguity is repeated between the prime and the target.

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