The effect of role predictability and role filler predictability in Korean sentence processing

Hongoak YunKonkuk University, Seoul, South Korea
Dongsu LeeKonkuk University, Seoul, South Korea
Yunju NamKonkuk University, Seoul, South Korea
Hyein JeongKonkuk University, Seoul, South Korea
Eunyong ChungKonkuk University, Seoul, South Korea
Upyong HongKonkuk University, Seoul, South Korea

Abstract

The discussion of whether the role information encoded by verbs is anticipatorily used in sentence comprehension apart from the world knowledge in the context has been a while. However, in head-initial languages like English, it is difficult to tell apart the use of lexical information like verbs from that of world knowledge information because roles associated with role fillers are mostly encoded by verbs. Contrarily, head-final languages like Korean provide chances to distinguish the use of lexical information triggering the prediction of roles (role predictability) from that of world knowledge triggering the prediction of role fillers (role filler predictability). Using Korean dative sentences, we examined the relationship between role predictability and role filler predictability in sentence processing. The results of our ERP study revealed that the effect of role filler predictability was observed as N400 effect when roles were strongly expected, whereas that of role filler predictability was observed as P600 effect when roles were weakly expected.

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