Effects of Plausibility on the Interpretation and Processing of Elliptical Verb Phrases
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Are there any differences in the interpretation and processing of elliptical verb phrases based on voice and plausibility? It was predicted that there would be more correct interpretations with active antecedents and plausible contexts. In terms of processing, participants would have longer answering and reading times for the implausible condition. Thirty-six participants were presented with two sentences using a segment-by-segment method. The first sentence manipulated voice while the second sentence manipulated context. They then had to answer a comprehension question. The main results were: More correct answers in the plausible conditions, longer answering times on the implausible and passive conditions and longer reading times on the plausible conditions. Post-hoc analyses showed longer answering times when the answer was wrong. The current study highlights the importance of plausibility in language.