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Keywords:

  • lexical bundles;
  • multiword sequences;
  • processing;
  • self-paced reading;
  • sentence recall;
  • psycholinguistics;
  • linear mixed-effects regression (LMER)

This article examines the extent to which lexical bundles (LBs; i.e., frequently recurring strings of words that often span traditional syntactic boundaries) are stored and processed holistically. Three self-paced reading experiments compared sentences containing LBs (e.g., in the middle of the) and matched control sentence fragments (e.g., in the front of the). LBs and sentences containing LBs were read faster than the control sentence fragments in all three experiments. Two follow-up word and sentence recall experiments demonstrated that more sentences containing LBs were correctly remembered. Consistent with construction-type models of language, these results suggest that regular multiword sequences leave memory traces in the brain.