To produce a sentence, speakers must prepare and linguistically encode a preverbal message. The aim of the study is to investigate sentence planning with a discourse focus. In an eye-tracking experiment, participants described pictures of transitive events. Focus was manipulated by presenting questions before each picture. In the Neutral condition, participants were asked ‘What is happening here?’ In the Subject and Object Focus conditions, the question was Who is catching the bull? and What is the cowboy catching?, respectively. The response was the same in all conditions (The cowboy catches the bull). In the Neutral condition, consistent with earlier work, participants looked first at the subject character (cowboy) and then at the object character (bull) of the sentence. In contrast, in the Subject Focus condition, participants looked longer at the subject character and shifted their gaze to the object character only about 1500 ms after picture onset. In the Object Focus condition, it took only about 500 ms for participants to shift their gaze to the object character after picture onset. The results show that information structure affects the timecourse of linguistic formulation in simple sentences.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Event||10th International Seminar on Speech Production, ISSP 2014 - Cologne, Germany|
Duration: 5 May 2014 → 8 May 2014
|Conference||10th International Seminar on Speech Production, ISSP 2014|
|Period||5/05/14 → 8/05/14|
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