Crosslinguistic Variation And Sentence Processing: The Case Of Chinese

In: Sentence Processing: A Crosslinguistic Perspective
Author: Ping Li

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Abstract

Theories of sentence processing have for the last two decades focused on issues such as parallel versus serial, interactive versus modular, and top-down versus bottom-up processes. This chapter examines the differences between Chinese and other languages with respect to the use of different types of information in sentence processing. First, the author presents results from experiments on how Chinese speakers determine sentence roles in a sentence-interpretation task (Experiment 1) and a sentence-gating task (Experiment 2). Second, the author present results from experiments on Chinese speakers' processing of homophones, in a cross-modal naming task (Experiment 3) and a word-gating task (Experiment 4). The author concludes with a discussion on the importance of crosslinguistic variations in our understanding of the mechanisms of sentence processing.

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