The Nature of Syntactic Priming - Relevance and Interplay of Semantic and Syntactic Information
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It is an ongoing matter of debate, what the nature of syntactic priming effects, and hence, the nature of grammatical information in language processing is. Two specific issues are the fo-cus of the current examination: firstly, the possible relevance of semantic information, and secondly, the role of different stages in grammatical encoding (as proposed by Levelt, 1989). The results of two German picture-description experiments indicate that semantic information plays a weak role in syntactic priming and that, within the double object construction, the two possible word orders (NP1(dative)-NP2(accusative) and NP2(accusative)-NP1(dative) can be primed but do not prime each other. This can be interpreted as the lack of a priming effect on a functional or hierarchy-only level in grammatical encoding. In addition, the nature of word order priming is further investigated.