Evidence for Implicit Learning in Syntactic Comprehension
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 37, Issue 3, pages 578–591, April 2013
How to Cite
Fine, A. B. and Florian Jaeger, T. (2013), Evidence for Implicit Learning in Syntactic Comprehension. Cognitive Science, 37: 578–591. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12022
- Issue published online: 22 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 5 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 10 DEC 2010
- NSF. Grant Number: BCS-0845059
- Language processing;
- Syntactic priming;
This study provides evidence for implicit learning in syntactic comprehension. By reanalyzing data from a syntactic priming experiment (Thothathiri & Snedeker, 2008), we find that the error signal associated with a syntactic prime influences comprehenders' subsequent syntactic expectations. This follows directly from error-based implicit learning accounts of syntactic priming, but it is unexpected under accounts that consider syntactic priming a consequence of temporary increases in base-level activation. More generally, the results raise questions about the principles underlying the maintenance of implicit statistical knowledge relevant to language processing, and about possible functional motivations for syntactic priming.