5dez 2021
00:00 UTC

Syntactic Priming Effects in BP Adult Speakers

Syntactic priming is a phenomenon in which the processing of a syntactic structure facilitates the subsequent processing of the same syntactic structure. Syntactic priming effects have been observed in different languages, during both production and comprehension. In Brazilian Portuguese (BP) syntactic priming effects have been found in comprehension studies with children with dyslexia and children with reading difficulties. In the present study, we used a self-paced reading task in order to investigate the effects of syntactic priming during the comprehension of passive sentences by adult native speakers of BP. Twenty-two participants read target passive sentences in experimental and control conditions, with verb repetition between prime and target in both conditions. Our results show that participants read target sentences faster in the experimental than in the control condition. These findings indicate that, at least in part, the processing of passive voice was facilitated by repeated exposure to the syntactic structure. We interpret these results as evidence of syntactic persistence and residual activation.