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Perspective taking and relative clause comprehension : a cross-modal picture priming study
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Jones, Nicola
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Relative Clause Comprehension
Perspective Taking
Complex Syntax
Sentence Processing
Cross-Modal Picture Priming
Dissertations, Academic -- Communication Sciences & Disorders -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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Abstract:
ABSTRACT: Fourteen young adults participated in a cross-modal picture priming study. Perspective shift processing, in four types of relative clause sentences and in control sentences, was assessed using reaction times. Predictions were: 1) the easier the perspective shifts, the faster the reaction times and 2) subject relative clauses would reveal a priming effect versus attenuated or no priming in object relative clauses due to difficulty following perspective. A priming effect was observed for 1- switch relative clause sentences and for control sentences, while no priming effect was observed for 0 switch, 1+ switch, or 2 switch sentences. Results suggest that variations in local syntactic constructions and word order facilitated relative clause processing. Violations of semantic expectations and noun-noun-verb distance in following perspective can both contribute to the complexity of relative clause processing.
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Thesis (MS)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Nicola Jones.
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Perspective Taking and Relativ e Clause Comprehension: A Cross-Modal Picture Priming Study by Nicola C. Jones A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirement for the degree of Master of Science Communication Sciences and Disorders College of Behavioral & Community Sciences University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Elaine R. Silliman, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Nathan Maxfield, Ph.D. Stefan A. Frisch, Ph.D. Judith Becker Bryant, Ph.D. Sylvia F. Diehl, Ph.D. Ruth Huntley Bahr, Ph.D. Date of Approval: June 30, 2010 Keywords: Relative Clause Comprehensi on, Perspective Taking, Complex Syntax, Sentence Processing, Cross-Modal Picture Priming Copyright 2010, Nicola C. Jones

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i Table of Contents List of Tables ................................................................................................................ ....iii List of Figures ............................................................................................................... .....iv Abstract....................................................................................................................... .........v Chapter 1: Introduction........................................................................................................ 1 The Perspective Model............................................................................................2 Direct Experience and Direct Perception.....................................................2 Spatial/Temporal Deixis..............................................................................3 Social Roles/Mental Plans...........................................................................3 Perspective Shifts and Relative Clauses..................................................................4 Subject-Subject (SS) Perspective.................................................................4 Object-Subject (OS) Shift............................................................................4 Object-Object (OO) Shift.............................................................................5 Subject-Object (SO) Shift............................................................................5 Relative Clause Comprehension into Adulthood.....................................................5 Indirect Investigations..................................................................................6 Direct Investigations....................................................................................8 Summary......................................................................................................9 Sentence Processing with Gaps.............................................................................10 Cross-Modal Picture Priming................................................................................11 Study Purpose and Hypothesis..............................................................................12 Chapter 2: Methods............................................................................................................1 4 Participants.............................................................................................................14 Stimuli ....................................................................................................................15 Picture Probes............................................................................................15 Target Verbs...............................................................................................16 Design of Sentence Stimuli........................................................................18 Creation of Picture Priming Conditions.....................................................21 Comprehension Questions.........................................................................22 Recording and Editing...............................................................................23 Procedure...............................................................................................................24 Analysis..................................................................................................................28 Comprehension Questions.........................................................................28 Reaction Times..........................................................................................28

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ii Statistical Analysis.................................................................................................29 Chapter 3: Results............................................................................................................. .30 Comprehension Question Accuracy......................................................................30 Response Latency..................................................................................................32 Chapter 4: Discussion........................................................................................................37 Interpretation of Sentence Types...........................................................................38 Control Sentence Performance..................................................................39 0 Switch Sentence Performance.................................................................41 1Switch Sentence Performance...............................................................42 1+ Switch Sentence Performance..............................................................42 2 Switch Sentence Performance.................................................................43 Summary....................................................................................................44 Results from This Study versus the MacWhinney and Pleh (1988) Results.........45 Study Limitations...................................................................................................46 Future Research Directions....................................................................................48 Conclusions............................................................................................................49 References..................................................................................................................... .....51 Appendices..................................................................................................................... ....52 Appendix A: 0 Switch Sentence Stimuli...............................................................53 Appendix B: 1Switch Sentence Stimuli..............................................................54 Appendix C: 1+ Switch Sentence Stimuli.............................................................55 Appendix D: 2 Switch Sentence Stimuli...............................................................56 Appendix E: Control Sentence Stimuli..................................................................57

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iii List of Tables Table 1: Nouns Selected for the 30 Line Drawings (15 Humans and 15 Animals)...........16 Table 2: The 30 Target Verbs and Th eir Frequency Per Million Words...........................18 Table 3: An Example of a Relative Clau se Sentence Set Showing the Types of Perspective Switches and a Control Sentence.....................................................20 Table 4: The 15 Prepositions Us ed in the Control Sentences............................................21 Table 5: Example Set of Zero Switch Comprehension Questions.....................................23 Table 6: Number of Errors on Comprehens ion Questions for Each Participant in Each Conditions...................................................................................................31 Table 7: Untrimmed RT Data (in ms) vs. Trimmed Data (in ms) for Each of the Conditions............................................................................................................32 Table 8: Effect Size Estimates (Cohen’ s d) for the Difference in Related vs. Unrelated RTs in Each Sentence Condition.........................................................35

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iv List of Figures Figure 1: Examples of the Human and An imal Line Drawings Utilized in the Experiment.........................................................................................................16 Figure 2: Examples of the Picture Probes Appearing at the Onset of the Target Verb....................................................................................................................22 Figure 3: Mean RT for Each of the Five Types.................................................................33 Figure 4: Mean RT for Sentences with Related Picture Probes and Unrelated Picture Probes....................................................................................................34 Figure 5: Mean RT for Each Condition, De picting an Interaction of Sentence Type and Relatedness........................................................................................36

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v Perspective Taking and Relativ e Clause Comprehension: A Cross-Modal Picture Priming Study Nicola C. Jones Abstract Fourteen young adults participated in a cross-modal picture priming study. Perspective shift processing, in four types of relative clause sent ences and in control sentences, was assessed using reaction tim es. Predictions were: 1) the easier the perspective shifts, the faster the reaction times and 2) s ubject relative clauses would reveal a priming effect versus attenuated or no priming in object re lative clauses due to difficulty following perspective. A priming e ffect was observed for 1switch relative clause sentences and for control sentences, while no priming effect was observed for 0 switch, 1+ switch, or 2 switch sentences. Results suggest that variations in local syntactic constructions and word order facilitated relative clause processing. Violations of semantic expectations and noun-noun-verb di stance in following perspective can both contribute to the complexity of relative clause processing.

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1 Chapter 1 Introduction While the oral comprehension of various sentence types has a lengthy research tradition (e.g., Fedorenko, Gibson, & R ohde, 2006; Gordon, Hendrick, & Johnson, 2004; MacDonald & Sussman, 2009), less is known a bout the relationship between complex sentence comprehension and reading comprehe nsion in either adul ts or children. This topic is an important one as comprehension of complex sentences has been attributed to children’s level of understanding in reading and to academic success in general (Scott, 2009). Furthermore, relative clauses, which are subordinate clauses that modify a noun phrase and attribute a situation to the referent of the noun phrase (Andrews, 1985; Hesketh, 2006), are of particular importanc e for elaborating the relationship between proficiency in reading compre hension and proficiency with syntactic processing in the oral domain. This relationship may also provide crucial information concerning the syntactic processing difficulties at the sent ence level of children and adolescents with language impairment (LI) (Scott, 2009). To date, research on the oral comprehens ion of relative clauses has primarily focused on the linguistic level. There has been minimal study on the possible interfaces between sociocognitive and linguistic aspects of relative clause comprehension. Using a cross modal picture priming (CMPP) paradi gm, this study aims to look at possible associations between the linguistic processi ng of relative clauses and sociocognitive

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2 operations as reflected in perspective taking. The discussion begins with the theoretical basis for possible connections through examining MacWhi nney’s (2005) Perspective Hypothesis. Next, prior research is reviewed on relative clause comprehension in adults, the processing of sentences with gaps, and cross modal picture priming (CMPP) methodology in sentence processing studies The final section presents the study’s purposes and hypotheses. The Perspective Model Perspective taking is the ability to see the world outside of oneself and take another’s perspective or point of vi ew. MacWhinney (2005) hypothesizes that perspective taking is central to language structure and higher-le vel thinking. His Perspective Hypothesis claims pe rspective taking functions on line to generate ideas from five different systems: dir ect experience, space deixis, time deixis, social roles, and mental acts. Direct experience and direct perception. In the Perspective Hypothesis, both direct experience and direct perception are the principle methods through which objects are experienced. This means that individuals physically interact with objects that are encountered through vision, touch, smell, taste, kinesthesia, and pr oprioception. In this way, language learners come to understand word s are associated with objects. However, there are known qualitie s of an object that cannot be di rectly experienced, for example potassium in a banana. Through mental imagery, the brain has the abil ity to evoke direct experiences, and to modify and enhance th em. According to MacWhinney (2005), this

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3 capability permits us to separate from the phys ical world of direct objects and actions and to imagine potential possibilities. Spatial/temporal deixis. As MacWhinney (2005) explains, spatial perspective taking involves projection of a deictic cente r to another agent. Deictic centers are separated into three constructs, egocentric, al locentric, and geocentr ic. Egocentric deixis relates to the perspective of the speaker and the language used refers to the spatial position of the speaker for example, up, down, left, right Allocentric deixis is established when the speaker assumes the perspective of something or someone else, and uses language that focuses on the spatial po sitioning of the object/person, such as under the bed Finally, geocentric deixis involves the sp eaker referencing fixe d external landmarks, as referring to north, east, south, west Temporal perspective can also be arra nged into egocentric, allocentric, and geocentric frameworks. Time can be conceptualized in relation to the speaker’s present time or can be projected to another time. Iconic temporal order, or order with time moving from past to future, ( After we ate breakfast, we went to work ) is easier to understand than the reversed order ( Before we went to work, we ate breakfast) However, temporal perspective is most natural when co mmunicated in a way that shows events in a time ordered sequence with no foreshadowing such as, we ate breakfast and then went to work Social roles/mental plans. Single words can influence listeners’ perspectives and establish social roles. For example, the word victim instructs the listener to take the perspective that someone has been the reci pient of an unscrupulous act. In order to evaluate if the individual indeed has assumed the social role of the “victim,” the listener

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4 must assess the information and adjust to the social perspectives of the different parties involved. Perspective taking and perspectiv e shifting are required to track complex mental plans that involve a series of events, which interrelate people, actions, and objects. In the MacWhinney (2005) framework, th ese five systems are expressed and combined through the language of perspective taking and grammar is the result of the need to establish, follow, and switch perspe ctives while interacting with others. The Perspective Hypothesis offers a different way of looking at the relationship between language and cognition, suggesting that theory of mind may be a central mechanism in the development of language as others ha ve proposed (e.g., Astington, 2000; Astington & Baird, 2005). Perspective Shifts and Relative Clauses Relative clauses are examples of how perspective shifts can affect the difficulty of sentence processing. MacWhinney (2005) describe s four types of relative clause shifts. Depending on the number and type of shifts in perspective, the complexity of sentence processing may increase Subject-subject (SS) perspective. SS relative clauses are labeled as 0 switches and do not contain any shifts sinc e the perspective of the main clause is the perspective of the relative clause, for example; The boy that washed the elephant painted the clown Object-subject (OS) shift. OS shifts are those in whic h the relative clause has 1switch; that is, the perspective switches from the main clause subject to the main clause object and adheres to the genera l principle of partial shift of perspective to the object,

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5 such as, The elephant washed the boy that painted the clown. A premise is that the OS shift is easier to follow as the object receives some attention before the shift is made. Object-object (OO) shift. The OO type also has one shift, 1+; the switch in perspective to the object of the relative clause is not as smooth, as the listener must retract backwards to find it, making the switch in perspective more difficult to follow, as in the example, The clown washed the elephant that the boy painted. In this instance, object processing must be reversed when boy is reached. Subject-object (SO) shift. Two perspective shifts ar e present in SO relative clauses. Perspective taking begins with the subject of the main clause, switches to the next noun, and then shifts back to the init ial noun when the second verb is encountered; for example, The boy that the elephant washed painted the clown. Prior research with adults, as well as cross-linguistic research with children (Friedman, Belletti, & Rizzi, 2009; Sm ith, Apperly, & White, 2003; Smyth, 1995), including those with language impairme nt (Friedman & Novogrodsky, 2004; Hesketh, 2006; Schuele & Tolbert, 2001; Stavrakaki, 2001 ), approached relative clause processing by considering various grammatical factors. Ho wever, few of the adult or child studies have examined grammatical aspects from a st andpoint that is also consistent with the MacWhinney (2005) perspective model. Since the focus of this research is with adults, the pertinent adult studies are reviewed next. Relative Clause Comprehension in Adulthood Few studies, either indirectly or direct ly, have examined relationships between relative clause comprehension and perspective taking in adu lts. The inclusion of studies

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6 in this section was based on two related criteria : whether the investigat ions were direct or indirect. In general, the lit erature on adult relative clause comprehension attempts to discern the feature that is re sponsible for object relative cl ause complexity over subject relative clauses. It has been well documented that object relative clauses in English tend to be of greater difficulty than subject relative clauses (Genna ri & MacDonald, 2008; Gennari & MacDonald 2009; MacWhinney & Pl eh, 1988; Reali & Christiansen, 2007; Traxler, Morris, & Seely, 2002). This same pa ttern seems to hold in the cross-linguistic studies on relative clause comprehensi on (Friedman et al., 2009; Friedmann & Novogrodsky, 2004; MacWhinney and Pleh, 1988; Stavrakaki, 2001). Indirect investigations. Traxler et al. (2002) used eye movements to examine the comprehension of relative clauses in three experiments. The first study presented subject and object relative clauses with nouns in which the subject and object nouns were semantically close, for example, doctor and nurse and were both e qually probable for carrying out the action, such as eating dinner The second experiment included an animate noun for the sentence subject a nd the relative clause noun, such as fireman and victim ; however, the action was only plau sible for one of the nouns, like rescue The third investigation included half the sentences in which the subject was animate and the noun of the relative clause was inanimate and vice versa for the other half of the sentences. Results indicated that, overall, object rela tive clauses, which required shifts in perspective from the object positi on, were harder to process than subject relative clauses, which required perspective switching from th e subject position. Furthermore, it was observed that, when there was only one plausibl e actor for the action, as in experiments 2 and 3, the sentence was easier to process. The results from the first two studies are

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7 congruent with MacWhinney’s (2005) pers pective taking theor y, since the ease of processing appeared dependent on the ease of following perspective shifts in the sentences. However, Traxler et al. (2002) c oncluded that the source of difficulty was a local one. Listeners preferred to maintain the sentence subject as the subject for the ensuing relative clause, thus causing a syntactic misanalysis. Thus, it remains plausible that perspective shifts and synt actic analysis must both take place in order to arrive at an appropriate interpretation of re lative clause sentences since, essentially the preference for maintaining the same subject throughout the sentence is a difficulty in shifting perspectives. The need to switch to multiple pe rspectives within one sentence results in complexity, and the listener must be attentive to syntactic cues, that indicate a switch in perspective, in order to accu rately comprehend the sentence. Gennari and MacDonald (2008) used ques tionnaires and readi ng tasks to conduct a series of studies on undergraduate student participants. Based on the outcomes, Gennari and MacDonald did not concur with the final conclusion drawn by Trax eler et al (2002) of syntactic ambiguity, but, instead, suggested semantic indeterminacy as the source of difficulty in comprehending object-headed relativ e clauses. According to the authors, in subject relative clauses the verb appears close to the s ubject, which eliminates the competition that occurs in object relative clau ses. In object relative clauses, competing interpretations of the sentence happen sin ce the listener is conf ronted with two nouns before the verb, for example, the director that the movie pleased had received a prize (which is actually two switches in perspectiv e). In addition to semantic ambiguity, this evidence can be explained also in terms of perspective taking. The listener must process

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8 both nouns and assume the correct perspectiv e in order to accur ately comprehend the sentence. A language-specific point of view was offe red in a third cross-linguistic study. A study of relative clauses in Ch inese revealed that processi ng demands were related to word order. In Chinese, relative clauses ar e constructed before the head noun. Hsiao and Gibson (2003) found that Chinese object rela tive clauses were not perceived as more difficult than subject relative clauses due to their structure in the Chinese language. A total of 47 Chinese-speaking a dults participated were pr esented with sentences on a computer screen one word at a time. They us ed button presses to reveal each subsequent word and the amount of time spent on each word was recorded. Reading time and comprehension question data were collected and analyzed. Hsiao and Gibson surmised that it was the consistency in word order of th e main and relative clauses that affected the ease of processing. However, from the perspective taking framework, examining the word for word translated structure that the authors provided led to an expanded interpretation. It appeared that in the subject relative clauses (e.g., invite tycoon [de] official have bad intentions ), all of the nouns were cluste red together, which would make following and switching perspectives difficult. In contrast, in the object relative clauses (e.g., tycoon invite [de] official have bad intentions ), the nouns were separated and appeared next to the verb, and therefore s eemed to be most similar to a 1switch perspective sentence structure in English Direct investigations. Only one study offered direct analysis of the relationship between relative clause comprehension and perspective taking. MacWhinney and Pleh (1988) studied relative clause comprehension in Hungarian in one of the few studies that

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9 evoked perspective taking. The study included 20 undergraduate participants who were visually presented with 144 different constr uctions of relative clauses in Hungarian. Following each sentence, they were pres ented with a comprehension question. The participants used a button press to indicate completion of sentence reading and to proceed to the comprehension question. Once the comprehension question was presented, the participants were to simulta neously press the button and answer the question orally. Based on the analysis of reading times decision times, and response error, MacWhinney and Pleh found that participants performed better with canonically ordered sentences (0 and 1-, switches in perspective) than with noncanonically ordered sentences (1+ and 2 switches in perspective) and that the positioning of the nouns and verbs in the sentences affected the level of difficulty. It was observed that participants were better able to comprehend sentences in which the nouns were separated by a verb, as the rabbit scared the baby that hugged her mommy (OS type), as opposed to two nouns occurring side by side followed by the verb, such as a 2 switch sentence, the baby the rabbit scared hugged her mommy Based on these results, MacWhi nney and Pleh concluded that perspective shifting was a v ital part of processing Hunga rian relative clauses. Summary. The adult literature appears to document that, across the languages studied, the difficulty compre hending object relative clause s versus subject relative clauses extends into adult hood. Although many theories have been suggested, the sources of greater complexity have yet to be dete rmined. The studies reviewed lead to the conclusion that interactions between semantic and syntactic structures affect listeners’ ability to follow perspective shifts. However, few adult studies, with the exception of the Hungarian investigation by MacWhinney and Pl eh (1988), have considered the influence

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10 of perspective shifts on rela tive clause comprehension. The value of examining this linguistic-sociocognitive relationship in Englis h speaking adults woul d therefore seem to be valuable. Sentence Processing with Gaps An important element of sentence pro cessing is the gap that occurs in the processing of noncanonical sentence structures These include relative clauses. The gap or trace occurs in sentences in which a word or phrase appears in a syntactic position that is different from the rudimentary or canonical order (S-V-O), which is the basic syntactic structure in English. Research (Hestvik, Maxfield, Schwartz, & Shafer; Love, 2007; Roberts, Marinis, Felser, & Clahsen, 2007) f ound that, when a sentence deviated from this order, listeners accesse d a strategy to process the se ntence in canonical order by filling the gap. This means that, at the location of the gap, listeners reactivate a previously heard word in the sentence that was not in canonical order, and formulate a copy of the word in the gap that would then allow for canonical processing. For example, in the object relative clause, the clown washed th e elephant that the boy painted the relative clause, the boy painted is missing the object leaving a gap. Thus listeners subconsciously reactivate the object of painted elephant, which was previously heard and is also the object of the main clause, and fills the gap. A gap is found in the different relative cl ause sentence types used in this experiment and will be addressed in the following chapters.

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11 Cross-Modal Picture Priming Unlike previous studies w ith adults, this study employs a cross-modal picture priming (CMPP) task. The CMPP task is an online measure for evaluating the unconscious processing of sentences. Swinney, Prathers, and Love (2000) described an online methodology as a “well defined match of (not only temporal but other) critical parameters of the comprehension-proce ss-of-interest…” (p. 277). The CMPP task involves a sentence being presente d auditorily to part icipants, who are in structed to listen carefully and understand the sentence. At a cr itical point in the se ntence, a picture is shown. Participants are then required to make a decision about the picture unrelated to the sentence (typically a classifying response, such as in the one used in this study “human/animal”) and their reaction times (RTs) are recorded for analysis. It is crucial that the task require as little metalinguistic analysis of the sentence material as possible (Swinney et al., 2000). Although a relationship does exist betw een the picture probe and the sentence, conscious introspection would result in an inaccurate measure of the targeted processes (Swinney & Prather, 1989). This relationship between the picture and the sentence is manipulated thr oughout the task, so that in so me of the sentences a picture related to the sentence is show n, whereas in other sentences a picture that is unrelated to the sentence is shown. The theory behind the CMPP, as described by Swinney et al. (2000), follows the principle of automatic semantic priming, which states that the proces sing of visual targets is facilitated when these targets are presen ted with or immediatel y after the auditory presentation of a related/associated word, or prime. For example, a prediction in the current study is that, if the participant was accurately following perspective, then the

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12 decision RT would be faster or primed wh en the actor (whose perspective should be active at the critical verb) is shown. The CMPP task has been successfully been used to study sentence processing in children and adults (Felser & Roberts, 2007; Love, 2007; McKee, Nicol, & McDaniel, 1993; Roberts et al., 2007; Swinney & Prat hers, 1989). Additionall y, Swinney et al. (2000) indicate CMPP is an especially sensitive measure of unconscious, on going sentence processing. Thus, a CMPP task wa s designed to explore the influence of perspective taking on relative clause comprehension in young adults. Study Purpose and Hypotheses The purpose of this study was to gather information on the online processing of perspective switching in the f our types of relative clause switches. There were two hypotheses. 1) The easier the perspective switches, as described by the MacWhinney (2005), the faster the RTs would be; therefore, 0 switc h RT < 1switch RT < 1+ switch RT < 2 switch RT. 2) In each sentence type, RTs would be faster for the related pictures than for unrelated picture probes. Specifically, a priming eff ect would be seen for subject-relative sentences (0 switch and 1switch) due to the ease with which the current perspective can be tracked. In contrast the object-relative would result in attenuated or no priming due to the difficulty involved in tracking current perspective in these types of sentences. In order to te st this hypothesis, on each sentence a picture probe was presented simultaneously with a verb that took the actor with the most current

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13 perspective as its subject. It was expected that, if the listeners were accurate in following the perspective shif ts during sentence processi ng (i.e., if they navigated through any perspective switches that were pr esent in each sentence, maintaining the most current actor’s perspective along the way), then the appearance of a verb taking the most current actor as its subject would facilitate pro cessing of the picture probes when the picture depicted that subject. Wh en the picture did not depict the subject, no improvement was expected in RT.

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14 Chapter 2 Methods Participants Participants included 14 University of S outh Florida graduate students, of whom 12 were female and 2 were male (mean ag e: 23.4 years, SD = 1.55, range = 22-26 years old). Thirteen of the 14 participants reported right-handedness and one was ambidextrous. All participants identifie d themselves as monolingual speakers of American English, and reported having normal hearing, as well as normal or correct-tonormal vision. None reported any history of neurological problems or developmental disabilities affecting speech, language, or learning. None re ported taking medications that affected cognitive function. Participants’ oral comprehension skills were pretested using the Oral Comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Johnston Test of Achievement III (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). All part icipants scored within 1 standard deviation (SD) of the mean, suggesting that they had oral compre hension skills within normal limits. Stimuli The stimulus set was comprised of five sets of 30 sentences, each sentence containing a target verb. The same 30 targ et verbs were used in each of the five conditions. In addition, 30 pict ure probes were used to assess cross-modal priming.

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15 Below is a description of the picture probes, followed by a description of the target verbs and, finally, the design of the sentences. Picture probes A total of 30 line drawings was selected from the International Picture Naming Project (IPNP) database (M ini database query, n.d.). The 30 drawings were divided evenly into two categories: 1) 15 line drawings depict ing humans and 2) 15 line drawings depicting animals. As descri bed in the section below on Procedures, the participants would be require d during testing to make a qui ck, binary judgment about whether the picture shown on each trial depicted an animal or a human. Therefore, pictures that could not be unambiguously cate gorized as depicting an animal or a human were omitted. For example, items such as ghost and monkey were not included because each had visual features that might have caused participants to confuse them with humans. Examples of the line drawings are shown in Figure 1. Table 1 lists the noun most likely to be us ed by adults when labeling each picture, established by the IPNP norms1. As described below, the noun associated with each picture was incorporated into the design of the stimulus sentences. As shown in Table 1, in both the animal category and the human category, eight pictur es took one-syllable noun labels, five pictures t ook two-syllable noun labels, a nd two pictures took threesyllable noun labels. According to the IPNP nor ms, the label for each picture used in this study was fairly unambiguous, i.e., each pictur e label had an IPNP naming agreement of 85% or better (Mini database query, n.d). 1 IPNP norming studies for picture naming included 520 object line drawings, and 275 action line drawings. Picture naming agreement in English was collected from 50 college-aged, monolingual speakers of English.

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16 elephant camel boy girl Figure 1. Examples of the Animal and Human Line Drawings Utilized in the Experiment Table 1. Nouns Selected for the 30 Line Drawings (15 Animal and 15 Humans) Animals Humans bat boy cat clown cow girl dog king fish man goat nurse horse queen pig witch camel baby dragon dentist giraffe pirate lion sailor squirrel waiter butterfly Eskimo elephant fireman Target Verbs. Next, 30 verbs were selected as target verbs for the sentence stimuli (see the target verbs in Table 2). It is important to note that, with this version of the CMPP task, the picture-to-be-categorized appeared simultaneously with one of these target verbs. Crucially, it was important to lim it the resources needed to process each of the target verbs, so that processing of th e verbs would not interfere with, or impede, processing of the picture probes. Therefore, tw o criteria were used to select the target

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17 verbs: 1) Syllable length, and 2) word frequency2. Target verbs with no more than two syllables were selected, out of concern that longer verbs would recruit too many processing resources. In addition, the word frequency of the ve rbs was restricted by including only verbs that were fairly high in frequency and, thus, fairly familiar to participants; thus avoiding lower-frequency, unfamili ar verbs that were potentially more difficult to process. Verbs were selected based on frequenc y of word type per million tokens in texts, which spanned first-grade through college le vels (Zeno, Ivens, Millard & Duvvuri, 1995). Zeno et al. considered the U value as an estimate of frequency per million tokens “in a corpus of infinite size” (p. 12)3. The U value for the verbs fell between 35 and 221 tokens per million a range that we consider ed as including fairly high-frequency verbs. Table 2 lists each of the verbs and their total corpus U. 2 The criteria used to select our target verbs differed from the criteria used to se lect our nouns. The picture probes selected, based on the criteria described in th e section on Picture Probes, drove selection of the nouns. Whereas, selection of the verbs was driven more by specific word length and frequency information and was not affected by the picture probes. 3 The U statistic derives from the weighting of the D statistic. The D is used as a measure of how broadly a word is used in different su bject areas (Zeno et al., 1995).

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18 Table 2. The 30 Target Verbs and Th eir Frequency Per Million Words Verb Total Corpus U Verb Total Corpus U washed 35 watched 101 pleased 40 raised 103 frightened 40 caught 104 painted 42 liked 108 saved 43 wrote 111 lifted 49 met 112 surprised 51 believed 116 dressed 51 helped 137 loved 63 named 145 taught 68 covered 153 bought 69 followed 160 threw 45 saw 164 noticed 74 carried 174 pushed 80 passed 188 paid 91 moved 221 Design of sentences stimuli. Five sentence types were created for use in the experiment. Two sentences from each senten ce type would serve as practice items (N=10). The other 140 sentences would be used as experimental items. 1) A set of 30 relative-clause sentences with no perspective switch (hereafter, 0 switch sentences); 2) A set of 30 relative-clause sentences in which perspective switched from the main clause subject to the main clause object (hereafter, 1switch sentences); 3) A set of 30 relative-clause sentences in which perspective also switched from the main clause subject to the main clause object, but with the switch to the object requiring backtracking to the object of the main clause (hereafter, 1+ switch sentences);

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19 4) A set of 30 relative-clause senten ces in which two perspective switches occurred, one from the subject of the main clause to the following noun, and then to the perspective of the initial noun (hereafter, 2 switch sentences)4; 5) A set of 30 Control sentences, de scribed in greater detail below. Although the five sets of sentences differed in the absence versus presence (and, if present, in the type and number) of perspec tive switches, they were designed to be as similar as possible along other dimensions so that cross modal picture priming speed could be compared between the different sent ence types. In order to achieve similarity between the five different c onditions, the sentences were designed such that one of the sentences in each condition paired the same noun (critical noun) and target verb. For example, as shown in Table 3, for one of the sentences in each condition (see Appendices for full list of sentential materials), the noun, boy, was always paired with the target verb, painted The target verb was always the second verb. Within each condition, each of the 30 nouns (described above in the section on Picture Probes, and listed in Table 1) appeared once as the critical noun, and each of the 30 verbs (described above in the section on Target Verbs, and listed in Table 2) appeared once as a target verb. Each noun appeared one other time, too, in the stimulus set, in a completely different sentence, but not in the critical noun role. Each target verb also appeared one other time in the stimulus set, in a completely different sentence, but not in the role as th e target verb. 4 The four switch types used were defined in MacWhinney (2005).

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20 Table 3. An Example of a Relative Clau se Sentence Set Showing the Types of Perspective Switches and a Control Sentence 0 switch The boy that washed the elephant painted the clown. 1switch The elephant washed the boy that painted the clown. 1+ switch The clown washed the elephant that the boy painted *. 2 switches The boy that the elephant washed painted the clown. Control The boy next to the elephant painted the clown. Note. In the sentence set, painted (underlined) is the target verb and boy (in bold) is the critical noun. The indicates the location of a gap. It is important to note that relative cl ause sentences contain a gap or trace (see Introduction). A gap results when the position of a word or phrase is shifted from the basic canonical sentence order (S-V-O) and is covertly filled by the listener during sentence processing (Hestvik et al., 2007; Love, 2006). To assess the contribution of gap processing, Control sentences were created (s ee example in Table 3) by taking each of the 30 0-switch sentences and replacing the re lative clause with a prepositional phrase (see Table 3), eliminating the presence of a gap. A total of 15 prepositions was selected, four with three syllables and 11 with two syllables. Each prepositional phrase mainta ined the same number of syllables as the relative clause it replaced. The prepositions us ed are shown in Table 4. Each preposition was used twice in each condition, once in each of the 15 sentences for which the critical noun was an animal-noun, and once in each of the 15 sentences for which the critical noun was a human-noun. In summary, a group of 150 sentences was cr eated, with 30 sentences in each of the five conditions. The sentences differed between conditions in the absence versus presence (and, if present, in the type and number) of perspective switches. Control sentences were syntactically different, too, in that they contained a prepositional phrase

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21 that replaced the relative clause structure in the four experimental sentence types. The sentences were similar between conditions, in that one sentence in each condition used the same critical noun/targ et verb combination. Table 4. The 15 Prepositions Us ed in the Control Sentences Two-Syllable Prepositions Three-Syllable Prepositions above across from behind away from below in front of beneath on top of beside close to far from near to next to under without Creation of picture priming conditions. As described in greater detail below (see Procedures), each sentence appeared twice during testing. On each occasion, the sentence was presented and a picture pr obe appeared simultaneously with the presentation of the target verb. As shown in Figure 2, on one presentation of the sentence, the picture probe displayed the animal or human that was the actor of the target verb in the sentence (hereafter, Related condition). On the other presentation of the same sentence, the picture probe displayed an animal or a human that was not the actor of the target verb (hereafter, Unrelated condition). It is important to note that, in the Unrelated condition, the picture probe always depicted an image that did not share the same category with the actor of the target verb, e.g., if the actor of the ta rget verb was a human, the picture probe showed an animal. It is im portant to note, too, that the picture probe

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22 which appeared in the Unrelated condition was never mentioned, at all, within that sentence, e.g., if the actor of the target ve rb was a human, the picture probe showed an animal, but not an animal that had ever been mentioned in the sent ence. Within each of the five conditions, each of the 15 animal pictures and each of the 15 human pictures appeared once as a Related picture. Within each of the five conditions, each of the 15 animal pictures and each of the 15 human pict ures was also reassigned once to a different sentence where it appeared as an Unrelated picture. Sentence (a) The boy that washed the elephant *painted the clown. Related Probe Unrelated Probe boy Camel Sentence (b) The boy that the elephant washed *painted the clown. Related Probe Unrelated Probe boy Fish Figure 2. Examples of Picture Probes App earing at the Onset of the Target Verb. Comprehension questions Comprehension questions we re created for a subset of sentences. The comprehension questions were used during the main task to verify that

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23 the participants were attentive, as well as to determine the accuracy with which the participants interpreted the sentences. A comp rehension question was created for a subset of 54 sentences: 12 comprehension questions for each of the four different switch conditions (0 switch, 1switch, 1+ switc h, and 2 switch) and six comprehension questions for the Control condition. With in each of the switch conditions, three comprehension questions probed participants interpretation of act or one (A1), three comprehension questions probed participants interpretation of act or two (A2), three comprehension questions probed participants interpretation of object one (O1), and finally, three comprehension questions probed participants' interpretation of object two (O2) (see Table 5 for examples of comprehe nsion questions probing each of these four sentential elements). For th e Control condition, three comp rehension questions probed participants' comprehension of actor one (A 1), while the other three questions probed participants' comprehension of object one (O1) (Note: A2 and O2 were not present in the Control sentences). Table 5. Example Set of Zero Switch Comprehension Questions 0 switch sentences Comprehension questions The boy that washed the elephant painted the clown.A1: Who washed the elephant? (boy) The waiter that bought the camel saw the queen. O1: Who did the waiter buy? (camel) The fireman that carried the dog helped the girl. A2: Who helped the girl? (fireman) The clown that surprised the pig pushed the sailor. O2: Who did the clown push? (sailor) Recording and editing. Sentences were recorded by a female native speaker of English, who self-identified her dialect as General American. The sentences were recorded in a sound-attenuated booth, usi ng a microphone (Audio-technica, Cardioid Low Impedance) connected to a digital audi otape (DAT) recorder (Sony, TCD-D8). Each

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24 sentence was recorded three times, with the speaker paying close atte ntion to ensure that her rate, intonation, and clarity were similar across the di fferent exemplars. They were recorded at a sampling rate of 44.1kHz. The se ntences were then digitized at a sampling rate of 44.1Hz into Sony’s Sound Forge Pro 10, and the best one out of the three sentences, in clarity, rate, and intonation was selected for use in the stimulus set by the student investigator. Each sent ence was then isolated in Sound Forge, and the latency from sentence onset to the onset of the targ et verb was measured in milliseconds. Finally, the intensity of the sentences was normali zed (RMS amplitude = 15 dB), which ensured that the sentences would be similar in thei r general loudness level. Presentation of the stimuli and recording of the reaction times wa s controlled using E-Prime software, run on a Dell PC computer. Procedure The testing session for each participant began with the signing of his or her Informed Consent and completion of the pe rsonal and medical history questionnaire about language(s) spoken, hear ing, vision, and other cognitive aspects that might affect performance on the experimental task. Then, part icipants were asked to complete the Oral Comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Johnston Test of Achievement III (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). Once the inclusion measures were completed, the participants received instructions for the experimental task. The participant was seated in a sound-treated booth. They were instructed to place their i ndex fingers on the buttons labeled 1 and 5 on the response box. The student investigator then provided verbal instru ctions for the task.

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25 Participants were told that they would be listening to sentences, some of which might seem silly or fanciful. They were instructed to list en to each sentence carefully, as comprehension questions would be presented afte r some of the sentences. They were told to respond orally to the comprehension que stions, and that the examiner would be manually recording their responses Participants were also to ld that a line drawing would appear at some point during each sentence, and that they were to determine as quickly and as accurately as possible whether the line drawing depicted an animal or human. Participants were instructed to press one button on a response box for an animal decision, and another button for a human d ecision. In order to reinforce the verbal instructions, the following written version of the instructions was also presented on a computer screen before each participant commenced testing. On each trial, you will hear a sentence. During the sentence, a picture will appear. Pay close attention for the picture. ***** Your job is to decide whether the picture shows an ANIMAL or a HUMAN. If the picture shows an ANIMAL, press button 1. If the picture shows a HUMAN, press button 5. Respond as quickly as you can, and as accurately as you can. ***** After each sentence, we may ask you a comprehension question. So please listen carefully.

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26 After receiving the instructions, particip ants sat in a sound-attenuated booth for the duration of the testing. Each participant was familiarized with a simplified version of the picture probe decision task that would be used during testing. Here, the line drawings were presented on a 19-inch Dell LCD comput er screen, individually every 2000 ms. The participant was asked to decide whether each picture depicted an animal or a human, and to register each choice on a push-butt on response box (pressing button 1 for ANIMAL, and button 5 for HUMAN, consistent with the inst ructions for the main task). None of the participants encountered any problem completing this part of training. Each participant then received a set of 20 practice CMPP items. The 20 practice items were comprised of 10 novel sentence s timuli, constructed like those described above, presented twice: once w ith a Related picture probe, and once with an Unrelated picture probe. The order of presentation of the 20 practice items was randomized. Four of the 54 comprehension questions, also describe d above, were presente d during the practice run. Participants were asked to complete the practice run, an d to ask questions after the practice if they were confused. If they performed well during pr actice (accurate button press responses and responses to comprehens ion questions), the main experiment was administered. If they experienced some diff iculty during practice, the practice set was repeated. Twelve of the participants perf ormed well on the practice set the first time, however the two participants who required th e set to be repeated did not require more than one repetition. During the main testing session, each of the 140 experimental sentences (excluding the 10 used in the practice run) were presented twice: once with a Related picture probe, and once with an Unrelated picture probe. Here, and during the practice

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27 run described above, a sentence was presente d binaurally through high-quality insert earphones (Etymotic Research, Model E-2). On each trial, a crosshair (+) was displayed in the center of a computer screen 1000 ms be fore the onset of the sentence presentation. The crosshair remained on-screen during the pr esentation of the senten ce. At the onset of the target verb, a probe picture was presen ted on the computer screen, replacing the crosshair. The participant was then to pre ss the appropriate animal or human key as quickly as possible. Participants logged their responses using a push-button response box designed to work with the E-prime software The reaction times were measured from onset of the line drawing. The picture probe remained on-screen for a duration of 400 ms, while the time-out period for responding wa s 2000 ms from the onset of each picture probe, giving the participant adequate tim e to respond. On a subset of 50 trials, a comprehension question was presented two seco nds following the offset of the last word of the sentence, and the participant was give n as much time as needed to respond orally (following the method used in Hestvik et al., 2007). The examiner remained in the booth for the entirety of the experiment, seated be hind (and out of the view of) the participant, to manually record verbal responses to th e comprehension questi ons. For sentences not followed-up by a comprehension question, the next trial appeared following an intertrial interval of 2000 ms. The stimuli were presented in seven bloc ks of 40 items. Within each block, eight sentences were quasi-randomly selected from each sentence condition and were presented in random order. The blocks were designed so that a sentence was not repeated within the same block. In addition, the number of compre hension questions appearing within each block was different. Five of the blocks contained seven sentences followed-up by

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28 comprehension questions, one block had 10 sentences followed-up by comprehension questions, and one block had five senten ces followed-up by comprehension questions. Varying the number of comprehension questi ons appearing within each block was done to prevent participants from counting/an ticipating the number of comprehension questions that would appear. The entire experiment was comp leted in one session lasting approximately two hours. Analysis Comprehension questions. Comprehension questions were scored manually by the student investigator. Partic ipants’ responses were scored as “correct” if the correct noun was identified, while an incorrect” response was defined as a no response or inaccurate noun identification. The number of incorrect responses per sentence type was tallied for each participant. The error rate was used to verify if the participants were mostly attentive with accurate in terpretations of the sentences. Reaction times Only sentences with the correc t response to the animal/human decision were used in the analysis of the reac tion times. Incorrect responses were typified as timed out responses or wrong button presse s. Those items were scored automatically by E-Prime. To analyze the response latency data, a trimmed mean rule was used that involved excluding reaction times greater than 1000ms. The rati onale behind this rule is that outlier response times are larger than the majority of other response times and can have a negative impact on statistical power (Ratcliff, 1993). Outliers can be the result of fast guessing, inattention, or other proce sses not relevant to the subject of study. According to Ratcliffe (1993), when a small but statistically significa nt difference in RTs

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29 is anticipated, use of a trimming procedure might help to increase power for detecting that small though significant difference. As part of a simulation study, he found that trimming rules such as inverse transformation (1/RT) and standard deviation cutoffs were appropriate ways to deal with outliers. Howe ver, based on the results of his simulations, Ratcliffe found that the best way to detect a small reaction time priming effect is to use a trimming rule that excludes any RT > 1000 ms. Thus, his recommendation was adopted. Statistical Analysis It is important to note that, although data were collected from all 14 participants on our main CMPP task, it was determined th at one participant performed poorly on the task. This determination was made based on the error rates of that participant (see Results, Comprehension Question Accuracy). As a result, the RT data for that participant were excluded from our main analysis of CMPP RT effects. The remaining mean RT data for each part icipant were submitted to a repeatedmeasures ANOVA with Sentence Type entere d as a within-subjects factor having five levels (Control, 0 switch, 1switch, 1+ switch, and 2 switc hes), and Relatedness entered as a second within-subjects f actor having two levels (Relat ed picture probes, Unrelated picture probes). For all factor s, we report p-values based on adjusted degrees of freedom (Greenhouse & Geiser, 1959) along with original F-values. Statistically significant main effects and interactions were followedup with Bonferroni-corrected pairwise comparisons.

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30 Chapter 3 Results This study employed a CMPP methodology to investigate the processing of relative clauses involving pe rspective switches. Two w ithin-subjects, independent variables defined the design: Sentence Type with five levels (0 switch, 1switch, 1+ switch, 2 switch, and Control), and Relatedness with two levels (Related versus Unrelated). The main dependent variable was the participants' reaction times (in ms) to a binary decision about the category of the pi ctures. Although the bina ry decision task was secondary to (and independent of) the main ta sk of processing each sentence for meaning, the speed with which the picture decisions we re made it was theorized was susceptible to priming from the perspective taken by the ta rget verb in each sentence. The aim was to assess the effect that each of the di fferent sentence types had on the reaction time latencies to Related versus Unrelated picture probes. Additionally, participants' comprehension accuracy was informally as sessed on a subset of probe questions presented for each sentence type. Comprehension Question Accuracy During scoring of participants' verbal re sponses to the comprehension questions, the student investigator enc ountered no problems, i.e., all of the responses given by the

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31 participants were intelligible. Visual insp ection of the comprehension question accuracy per subject, shown in Table 6, revealed that most participants made few errors to the comprehension questions in each condition. One exception was participant number four (S04), who had an error rate of 40%. Since th e comprehension questions were in place to verify participants' attentiven ess and accuracy of sentence in terpretations, we decided to exclude the data from S04 in our analysis of RTs, reported below. It should be noted that during debriefing, S04 reported emotional di stress due to a family emergency that occurred prior to th e testing session. Table 6. Number of Errors on Comprehension Questions for Each Participant in Each Condition Subject 0 switch 1switch1+ switch2 switchesControl Total Incorrect S01 3 2 1 3 0 9 S02 1 0 0 2 0 3 S03 1 1 1 1 1 5 S04*** 3 5 6 4 2 20 S05 2 0 2 3 0 7 S06 0 1 0 1 0 2 S07 2 1 2 0 1 6 S08 0 1 0 0 1 2 S09 5 0 2 2 0 9 S10 0 0 0 1 0 1 S12 1 0 3 3 1 8 S13 1 0 2 1 0 4 S14 2 3 4 1 0 10 S15 1 1 1 1 1 5 Mean 1.57 1.07 1.71 1.64 0.50 SD 1.40 1.44 1.73 1.22 0.65 Note. Participants received a total of 12 compre hension questions in each switch type, and six comprehension questions in the Cont rol condition. Participan t S04 was excluded due to a relatively high error rate.

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32 Response Latency The untrimmed reaction time data, summari zed in Table 7, were trimmed to account for outliers. The trimming rule that was utilized eliminat ed any reaction time greater than 1000 ms, limiting th e contribution of extralinguis tic processes that were not the focus of this study and which may have lengthened RT undesirably on some trials. Table 7. Untrimmed RT Data (in ms) vs. Tr immed RT Data (in ms) for Each of the Conditions Sentence Type Grand Mean of Subject Mean RTs, Using Untrimmed Data (SD) Range of Subject Mean RTs, Using Untrimmed Data Grand Mean of Subject Mean RTs, Using Trimmed Data (SD) Range of Subject Mean RTs, Using Trimmed Data 0 switch related 623.34 (172.30) 408.48-1017.75 570.85 (103.58) 408.48-803.85 0 switch unrelated 594.12 (140.95) 430.04-942.67 558.92 (93.72) 430.04-785 1switch related 600.31 (156.07) 426.85-962.92 553.41 (98.33) 426.85-817.76 1switch unrelated 623.93 (145.94) 445.00-942.00 580.42 (100.90) 445.00-830.58 1+ switch related 583.33 (135.56) 410.50-900.25 561.42 (109.50) 410.50-819.85 1+ switch unrelated 578.43 (116.01) 433.17-793.25 558.96 (93.39) 433.17-770.54 2 switches related 611.46 (159.08) 403.39-928.38 561.64 (110.61) 403.39-837.85 2 switches unrelated 617.50 (152.75) 407.18-988.71 572.57 (100.15) 407.18-812.46 Control related 606.74 (141.35) 432.81-935.52 570.37 (102.10) 432.81-796.93 Control unrelated 621.43 (145.03) 452.96-938.07 585.34 (104.90) 452.96-837.00

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33 As described above, the trimmed means we re analyzed using a repeated-measures ANOVA, with two within-subject factors. The first independent variable was Sentence Type with five levels (0 switch, 1switc h, 1+ switch, 2 switches, Control). The other within-subjects factor was Relatedness which had two levels (Related and Unrelated). The ANOVA revealed a main effect of sentence type, F (4, 48) = 2.56, p = .051, partial eta-squared = .176. The effect size suggests that sentence type expl ained ~ 18% of the variance in the RTs. The ANOVA was follo wed by Bonferroni-corrected pairwise comparisons. The pairwise comparisons reveal ed that the mean RT of the 1+ switch sentence types was significantly shorter than the mean RT of th e Control sentences ( p = .015) (see Figure 3). None of the other pa irwise comparisons between the Control sentences and the other senten ce types showed a statistically significant difference. Main Effect of Sentence Type 550 555 560 565 570 575 580 0 switches1switch1+ switch 2 switchesControlReaction times in ms Figure 3. Mean RT for Each of the Five Sentence Types

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34 The ANOVA also showed a main effect of Relatedness, F (1, 12) = 8.13, p = .015), partial eta-squared = .404. The effect si ze suggests that Rela tedness explained ~ 40% of the variance in the RTs. The mean of Unrelated picture RTs (563.55 ms, SD = 101.81) was significantly longer in duration th an the mean of the Related picture responses (571.24 ms, SD = 96.20), although th e magnitude of the mean difference between priming conditions (~8 ms) was not very large. Main Effect of Relatedness 550 555 560 565 570 575 580 RelatedUnrelatedReaction times in ms Figure 4. Mean RT for Sentences with Rela ted Picture Probes and Unrelated Picture Probes These main effects are qualified by a stat istically significant interaction between Sentence Type and Relatedness, F (4, 48) = 5.195, p = .004, partial eta-squared = .302. The effect size suggests that ~ 30% of the vari ance could be explaine d by this interaction. Bonferroni-corrected pairwise comparisons were made for the RT difference between Unrelated versus Related in each sentence t ype. As shown in Figure 5, Related pictures

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35 elicited shorter RTs than Unrelated pictur es in the Control sentence condition ( p = .017). In addition, Related pictures el icited shorter RTs than Unrela ted pictures in the 1-switch sentence condition ( p = .004). Although no st atistically significant Related versus Unrelated RT differences were detected in the other three sentence conditions, visual inspection of Figure 5 suggested that 2-switc h sentences tended toward a priming effect, and that 0 switch sentences tended toward a re verse priming effect. In order to assess the magnitude of the Related versus Unrelated RT difference (if any) in each condition, we computed a Cohen's-d effect size statistic for each pairwise comp arison. As shown in Table 8, only the Related versus Unrelated RT difference in the 1switch sentence condition showed a small effect size (this di fference was also found to be statistically significant), with the other e ffect sizes negligible. Thus, it seems that processing of Related versus Unrelated picture probes was particularly influenced by sentences in the 1switch sentence condition. Table 8 Effect Size Estimates (Cohen’s d) for the Difference in Related vs. Unrelated RTs in Each Sentence Condition Related Mean RT Related RT SD Unrelated Mean RT Unrelated RT SD Cohen's d 0 switch 570.86 103.58 558.92 93.72 0.127364306 1switch 553.41 98.33 580.42 100.90 0.26774643 1+ switch 561.42 109.50 558.96 93.39 0.026372893 2 switches 561.64 110.62 572.57 100.15 0.109142074 Control 570.37 102.10 585.34 104.90 0.142772759

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36 Figure 5. Mean RT for Each Condition, Depic ting an Interaction of Sentence Type and Relatedness

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37 Chapter 4 Discussion A CMPP methodology was used to study po ssible interactions between relative clause comprehension and pe rspective taking as operati onalized through four switch types. Two hypotheses were tested. The fi rst hypothesis was that the easier the perspective switches the faster the RTs w ould be due to the diminished processing required for less complex switches in perspectiv e. Specific predictions were that 0 switch RTs would be less than 1switch RTs; that 1switch RTs would be less than 1+ switch RTs; and, finally, that 2 switc h RTs would be the longest. The second hypothesis tested was that in e ach of the sentence types, RTs would be faster to pictures primed by the sentences (i.e., Related picture probes) than to pictures not primed by the sentences (i.e., Unrela ted picture probes). Although this study was largely exploratory, it was predicted that CMPP would result in a robust priming for subject-relative sentences (0 switch and 1switch) due to th e ease with which the current perspective can be tracked; whereas, for the object-relative sentences it was expected that CMPP would result in attenuated or no priming due to the difficulty involved in tracking current perspective in th ese types of sentences. Visual inspection of the trimmed RT means revealed that 1+ switch type sentences had the fastest RTs, followed by th e 0 switch sentence types, 2 switch sentence types, 1switch sentence types, and, fina lly, the Control sentences having the longest

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38 RTs. Statistical analysis did detect a main effect of sentence type with a statistically significant difference in RTs between the Cont rol sentences and the 1+ switch sentences. An interaction of sentence type and probe Relatedness was also detected. Pairwise comparisons of the Related versus Unrelate d picture probe RTs, separately in each sentence condition, indicated th at a priming effect was obtai ned for the Control sentences and for the 1switch sentences. No significan t priming effect was found for the 0 switch, 1+ switch, or 2 switc h type sentences. Interpretations of the relative clause se ntences and Control sentences, discussed in the following section, suggest that the part icipants chunked the sentences and processed the clauses separately. Similar to the findings of Traxler et al. (2002), the results from this study supported local processing. Local processing can best be described as processing the sentence in increments, for example focu sing on one part of the sentence, and then focusing on another, rather than analyzing it as a whole. Interpretation of Sentence Types The literature generally documents object relative clauses to be of greater difficulty than subject relati ve clauses for both children (Friedman et al, 2009; Friedmann & Novogrodsky, 2004) and adults (Gennari & MacDonald, 2008; Gennari & MacDonald, 2009; Reali & Christiansen, 2007; Traxler et al., 2002). In subj ect relative clauses, the movement is to the subject position, as s een in the 0 switch and 1switch sentences, while in object relative clause s the movement is to the objec t position, such as in the 1+ switch and 2 switch sentences.

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39 Varying theories have been presented to explain the source of the processing difficulty. Of primary interest here was the Perspective Hypothesis (MacWhinney, 2005), which claimed that relative clause complex ity stemmed from the number and type of shifts in perspective. According to this hypothesis, as discussed in the introduction, 2 switch object relative clauses should be more difficult to process due to the complex shifting involved, while the 0 sw itch subject relative clauses would be easiest because the perspective of the subject doe s not change. The Perspectiv e Hypothesis also suggested that, although the 1and 1+ sw itch types both required a singl e shift in perspective, the 1+ object relative clauses were more difficult than the 1subject relative clauses because of the backward shift in pe rspective. As discussed in the following sections, some evidence indicated that perspective was diffi cult to track through object relative clause sentences, although this conclusion is temp ered by some methodological limitations that also seem to have affected the participants’ performance on the task in the current study. Control sentence performance. Picture probes presen ted during the Control sentences elicited the longest RTs when compared to the other four sentence types, although a statistical difference was only obser ved with the 1+ sw itch type sentences. Furthermore, statistically significant Related versus Unrelated picture probe priming was observed. As predicted, the participants were pr imed by the subject of the sentence due to the canonical (S-V-O) order of the sentence, suggesting th at the participants were following the perspective of the subject noun head. The Control sentences were designed using prepositional phrases, for example, the boy next to the elephant painted the clown Although the sentences followed canonical order, perhaps the additional semantic referents resulted in a higher processing

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40 load. Interpretations of the relative clause structures, sugge sted that the participants processed the sentences locall y, chunking the clauses and pro cessing them separately. For example, in the 1+ switch sentences, th e clauses could be chunked to SVO-SV. The diminished processing load of two simple st ructure in canonical order could potentially have resulted to faster RTs. Control sentence s were comprised of one clause in canonical order, however with an additional semantic referent (prepositional phrase). Thus, they could not be processed locally but only gl obally, and were required to process more information at one time, which ma y have resulted in longer RTs. It was also speculated that longer RTs in the Control condition could be attributed to interference, at least for the Related picture probes appearing with the Control sentences. The prepositional phrases th at were utilized cr eate a noun phrase that referenced a specific anim ate entity, for example, the boy next to the elephant The image that appeared in each sentence simultaneously with the target verb was of a single animate entity (in the example given, the Re lated image shown simultaneously with the target verb, painted, was of a boy). Related picture probes may have induced conflict, i.e., the sentence described a boy next to an elephant while a boy was shown in the absence of an elephant. Resolution of in compatibility may have made the decision making process initially harder resulting in longer RTs. Finally the longer RTs that were obtain ed in the Control condition could have resulted from the novelty of the sentence t ype. All the other sent ence types presented throughout the experiment cont ained relative clauses. Perh aps the appearance of a sentence containing a prepositi onal phrase was initially surprisi ng to the participants; thus

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41 the novelty of the prepositional phrase may have increased the level of processing required resulting in slower RTs. 0 switch sentences performance. The results from the 0 switch sentence types revealed no statistically signifi cant priming effect, i.e., RTs to the Related picture probes were no faster or slower than RTs to the Unrelated picture probes. As noted above, it was predicted that the 0 switch relative clauses woul d be the easiest to follow since they were subject relative clauses and there was no switc h in perspective between the subject of the main clause and the subject of the relative clause. However, after reanalysis of the sentence structure, it appeared that, although the subject remained consistent, the introduction of the relative clause immediately following the sentence subject might have interrupted the ability to fo llow the perspective of the subject through the entirety of the sentence (i.e., The boy [that washed the elephant] painted the clown ). According to Gennari and M acDonald (2008), the proximity of subject and verb contributes to the ease or difficulty of comprehending relative clauses. As the distance between the subject and verb increases, the number of possible sentence interpretations also increases. In the 0 sw itch sentences, the insertion of the relative clause in the middle of the sentence could have resulted in difficulty assigning the correct noun to the target verb (i.e., in assigning boy vs. elephant, from the example sentence above, to the target verb, painted ). Thus, listeners were required to maintain the perspective of the subject th roughout the sentence with the added competition of other nouns that may have resulted in increasing th e load on working memory and attentional resources. The increased processing necessa ry for comprehending the 0 switch relative

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42 clauses, and possible competition between the sentence subject and relative object, may have been responsible for the longer RTs. 1switch sentence performance. Statistically significant Related versus Unrelated picture priming was observed for th e 1switch sentences. As noted above, 1switch sentences were of the subject rela tive clause type. For these sentences, the prediction was that it would be easier to track the current subject perspective. Thus, when the target verb appeared along with an imag e showing the subject of the verb, the image should have been easier to process versus when the image was not the subject of the verb. Closer examination of the sentences in this condition suggested that additional factors may have facilitated the RT priming effect. Several elements of the syntactic structure of 1switch sentences c ould have facilitated priming (i.e., The elephant washed the boy [ that {gap} painted the clown ]). First, the primed noun, in essence, was mentioned twice before the target verb, as a gap occurr ed immediately before the target verb and research has shown that the brain reactiv ates the noun for canoni cal processing (Love, 2007; Roberts et al, 2007). A s econd factor was that the noun appeared in close proximity (separated only by the word, that ) to the target verb in the relative clause. As noted earlier, the nearness of the subject and the verb facilitates pro cessing of the relative clause (Gennari & MacDonald, 2008). Th ird, subject-verb order, that is, boy positioned before painted is claimed to assist processing (M acWhinney & Pleh, 1988). These three factors coupled with accurate perspectiv e shifting possibly expl ained the significant priming effect that caused faster RTs in sentences with the Related picture probes contrasted with sentences with Unrelated picture probes.

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43 1+ switch sentence performance. No statistically significant Related versus Unrelated picture priming was found for the 1+ sentence types. This was expected based on the prediction, stated above, that perspective should be harder to track in object relative sentences. Other factors might have played a role in a ttenuating any priming effects for this condition. For example, 1+ switch sentences received the fastest RT overall with a statistically si gnificant difference versus the Control sentences. These fast RTs for 1+ switch type sentences were contrary to initial predictions suggesting that this sentence type was the easiest of the four types to process. The less demanding structure of the re lative clause in the 1+ switch type sentences (i.e. The clown washed the elephant [ that the boy painted {gap}]) could have diminished the processing load and potenti ally resulted in faster RTs. The 1+ sentences were structured with each of the two clauses having unique subjects followed by verbs (S-V-O, S-V). Processing of the two clauses independently possibly allowed for less complex canonical processing at the local le vel of the sentence (Traxler et al., 2002). Additionally, this structure decreased risk of competing interpretations as subjects and verbs appeared in close proximity (Ge nnari & MacDonald, 2008; MacWhinney & Pleh, 1988). Furthermore, the primed noun occurred immediately prior to the target verb suggesting that a recency effect may have impacted the rate of the RTs. 2 switch sentence performance. The 2 switch sentences (i.e. The boy [ that the elephant washed {gap} ] {gap} painted the clown ) had a syntactic structure similar to 0 switch type sentences. As with the 0 switch sentences, a statistically significant Related versus Unrelated picture priming was not obs erved for 2 switch sentences. As predicted above, 2 switch sentences are of the object relative type and require multiple complex

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44 shifts in perspective, which should have made it harder to track a nd, therefore, negating any priming effect. Here, too, priming may ha ve been attenuated by additional factors. One was the distance of the subject ( boy ) to the target verb ( painted ) with competition from the intervening relative clause (Ge nnari & MacDonald, 2008). Descriptively, it was noted that, for 0 switch sentences, the RT s tended towards a reve rse priming effect (Unrelated were faster than Related), wher eas the 2 switch sentences tended toward a typical priming effect with Related probe RT s faster than Unrelated probe RTs (albeit non-significant). One speculation is that pa rticipants had a sli ghtly better priming advantage in the 2-switch type than in the 0 switch type since a gap was located directly before the target verb. As previously disc ussed, listeners would ha ve been following the perspective shift, which rec onstruction of the primed noun at the gap just before the target verb might have facilitated. Summary. It was predicted that Related probe items would be faster than the Unrelated probe items in all conditions. This prediction held true only in the Control sentences and the 1switch senten ces suggesting that participants. It was also predicted that RTs would be fastest for the Control < 0 switch < 1switch < 1+ switch < 2 switches. This pred iction was generated from the idea that perspective switches governed the level of processing difficu lty in relative clauses. However, the RTs from the study tracked as follows: 1+ switch < 0 switch < 2 switch < 1switch < Control, with onl y a statistically si gnificant mean difference found between the Control and the 1+ switc h. Much of the evidence suggested that local sentence processing dominated over global processing. The syntactic elements that occurred locally impacted the speed of the RTs as s een in the different switch type conditions.

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45 Further, focus maintenance could be a fact or in processing relative clauses. When a noun occurs before the verb, attention is focused on that actor (MacWhinney & Pleh, 1988). This may also reflect a potential interactio n between attention and local syntactic processing. In order to more effectively di stribute attentional resources, the listener allocates attentional resources to the immedi ately presented actor and associated action and processes the clause locally so as to keep relevant information in the foreground. This evidence of local processing does not discount the concept that perspective switching played a role in rela tive clause processing. It simply elucidates the complexity of sentence comprehension and the different syntactic and cognitive factors that are involved. Results from This Study Versus the MacWhinney and Pleh (1988) Results The only other known study to investigate re lationships between relative clause comprehension and perspective taking wa s one conducted by MacWhinney and Pleh (1988). In that study, reading times, as well as comprehension accuracy, were measured for relative clauses in Hungarian. Among th eir findings, MacWhinney and Pleh observed that a preference existed for word order in Hungarian in which the subject preceded the object, and that canonical word order wa s easier than noncanonical word order. Additionally when the noun preceded the ve rb, focus was drawn to that noun and established its persp ective. Results also indicated that Hungarian relative clauses structured with the relative clause attach ed to the initial noun were easiest, while nounnoun-verb (NNV) order with the relative clau se attached to the second noun was more difficult. Overall, the study i ndicated that relative clauses, with noun and verb placements

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46 and syntactic constructions, which facilitate d perspective by preser ving the role of the subject and topic, were superi or. These results lead MacWhinney and Pleh to confirm the function of perspective maintenance in pr ocessing relative clauses. Based on their findings, MacWhinney and Pleh concluded that th ree factors played a v ital role in relative clause processing: Perspective maintenance, focus maintenance, and clause construction (fragment construction). Although the current study differed methodologi cally in significant ways from the MacWhinney and Pleh investigation, incl uding the languages assessed, interesting parallels can be found in the tw o sets of results. First, word order seemed to play an important role in ease of processing. As seen with the robust priming advantage in the 1switch sentences, each clause was structured canonically with the subjects occurring before the verbs drawing attention to th e subject perspective, which facilitated perspective and focus maintenance. Additionally word order resulting in a lack of focus maintenance could be ascribed to the 0 switc h sentences in which no priming effect was observed. Finally, a speculation is that the lack of a priming effect seen with the 2-switch sentences could be attributed to the same difficulty that MacWhinney and Pleh termed as fragment constructions. This finding suggested that NNV word order, with the relative clause attached to the second noun, wa s the most difficult to process. Study Limitations Several factors had the poten tial to undesirably impact performance on this task, although, in some cases, it was demonstrated th at these factors may not have been of great concern. First, all part icipants independently reported that the task was difficult.

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47 The length of the task and the implausibility of the sentence conten t (the sentences did not construct real life scenarios) combin ed with the priming may have made the sentences more difficult to process than antici pated. Indeed, if the task was too resource intensive, then accurate sentence processi ng and perspective shifting of the sentences may have been affected. However, analysis of the comprehension questions revealed a total error rate of 10%, which indicated that, in general, comprehension of the sentences was quite good. Further, if fatigue influen ced the participants' ability to comprehend sentences, an increase in error rate would ha ve been observed toward the end of the task. In fact, errors diminished as the task progressed, suggesting an adaptation effect. A second variable that could have influen ced the pattern of results was the sample size ( N = 14). The need for more power was possibly reflected in the finding that a priming effect was observed for only the Control set and 1switches. Although a statistically significant difference was not s hown between the Related versus Unrelated picture priming in the 0-switch and 2-switch sentences, both conditions did seem to show possible differences in Related versus Unrela ted picture RTs. Perhaps with a larger sample size, a statistically significant differe nce might be revealed. Replication with a larger sample would address whethe r this study had sufficient power. A third potential concern is that even seemingly benign design decisions can significantly impact performance on the CMPP ta sk. For example, in prior studies (Love, 2007; Love, Walenski, & Swinney, 2009; Mc Kee et al., 1993; Roberts et al., 2007; Swinney & Prather, 1989), the picture judgm ents were designed to be yes/no-type decisions, e.g., "Is the pictured object edible?” or "Is th e pictured object alive?" The current study employed a slightly different va riation, asking the part icipants to decide

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48 whether the line drawing showed an animal or a human. As a result, all of the line drawings presented were the same as the nouns used in the sentences. In previous CMPP tasks other line drawings were included that were not menti oned in any of the sentences. A concern with the CMPP task design is that RT differences between conditions could result as different pict ures were sometimes used in different conditions and compared. A proposed solution focuses on sentence matching, which involves creating two minimally different sentence s and presenting the same picture with each (Love et al., 2009). However, due to the comple x structures of the relative clauses used in this study, a sentence match design was not appropriate. Instead the task was designed so that the same picture appeared twice in the same c ondition: once as a Related probe, once as an Unrelated probe. This should have addressed th e concern that comparing RTs to different sets of pictures by itself could lead to RT differences that were not indicative of priming effects. It should also be noted that, as an additional measure of processing, event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded to the onset of the probe pictures dur ing administration of the experiment and will be an alyzed in a follow up study. Future Research Directions Future studies are needed in orde r to improve upon the current methodology. Development of the CMPP is needed to acc ount for design varia tions such as the selection of line drawings and binary decisi ons. Sentence stimuli could be adjusted to include more plausible scenarios, and task pr esentation could be segmented into sessions to mitigate fatigue.

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49 Furthermore, a theory of mind task could be administered to participants, such as a second order belief task, which involves th e understanding of se ntential complements similar to the relative clause types. These kinds of data might allow for performance comparisons between participants, i.e., grouping them according to their ability to assume and manipulate more complex perspectives. Fo r example, interesting information could be obtained from analyzing the RT performa nce of each participant as compared to his/her scores on the th eory of mind task. A refined methodology would also permit fu rther collection of information about how adults and children comp rehend relative clauses switches. Furthermore, there is great value in examining sentence processi ng and perspective shif ting in a variety of populations from typically developing sc hool age children to those with language impairment (LI) and dyslexia. It would be es pecially interesting to compare dyslexia and LI since those with dyslexia are presumed not to have problems in the oral languageprocessing domain. In conclusion, this ki nd of processing task has the potential sensitivity necessary to locate individual diffe rences in the cognitive-linguistic interface that likely contributes to accu rate sentence in terpretation. Conclusion The current study has provided prelimin ary evidence on relationships between relative clause comprehension and perspect ive shifting. Results indicated that local syntactic construction and word order facilitated the processi ng of relative clauses. The need to maintain one perspective over a distance and the interference of other nouns when following a perspective can contribute to the complexity of relative clause

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50 switches, such as in the 0-sw itch and 2-switch sentences. Howe ver, in order to effectively analyze the roles of cognition and syntax in relative clause comprehension, improvements must be made to the methodology. Future studies will aim to refine the current online technique. With a valid measure in place, valu able information may be ascertained as to the typical processing of relative clause co mprehension and the sentence processing of populations with LI and dyslexia as well as autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

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51 References Astington, J. W. (2000). Language and metalang uage in children's understanding of the mind. In J. W. Astington (Ed.), Minds in the making: Essays in honor of David R. Olsen (pp. 264-284). Malden, MA: Blackwell. Astington, J. W., & Baird, J. A. (2005). Why language matters for theory of mind New York: Oxford. Andrews. A. D. (1985). S tudies in the syntax of relative and comparative clauses New York: Garland Publishing. Fedorenko, E., Gibson, E., & Rohde, D. (2006). Th e nature of working memory capacity in sentence comprehension: Evidence ag ainst domain-specific working memory resources. Journal of Memory and Language 54 541-553. Felser, C., & Roberts, L. (2007). Processi ng wh-dependencies in a second language: a cross-modal priming study. Second Language Research, 23 9-23. Friedmann, N., & Novogrodsky, R. (2004). Th e acquisition of relative clause comprehension in Hebrew: A study of SLI and normal development. Journal of Child Language, 31, 661-681. Friedmann, N., Belletti, A., & Rizzi, L. ( 2009). Relativized relatives: Types of intervention in the acquisition of A-bar dependencies. Lingua, 119 67-88. Gennari, S. P., & MacDonald, M. C. (2008). Se mantic indeterminacy in object relative clauses. Journal of Memory and Language, 58 161-187. Gennari, S. P., & MacDonald, M. C. (2009) Linking production and comprehension processes: The case of relative clauses. Cognition 11 1-23. Gordon, P. C., Hendrick, R., & Johnson, M. (2004). Effects of noun phrase type on sentence complexity. Journal of Memory and Language 51 97-114. Hesketh, A. (2006). The use of relative clauses by children with language impairment. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 20 539-546.

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52 Hestvik, A., Maxfield, N., Schwartz, R. G., & Shafer, V. (2007). Brain responses to filled gaps. Brain and Language, 100, 301-316. Hsiao, F., & Gibson, E. (2003). Proce ssing relative clauses in Chinese. Cognition, 90 3-27. Love, T. E. (2007). The processing of non-ca nonically ordered constituents in long distance dependencies by pre-school ch ildren: A real-tim e investigation. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 36, 191-206. Love, T., Walenski, M., & Swinney, D. (2009). Slowed speech input has a differential impact on online and offline processing in children’s comprehension of pronouns. Journal of Psycholinguist Research, 38, 285-304. MacDonald, M. C., & Sussman, R. S. (2009) Sentence comprehension. In L. R. Squire (Ed.), Encyclopedia of neuroscience (pp. 691-696). Oxford: Academic Press. MacWhinney, B. (2005). The emergence of grammar from perspective. In D. Pecher, & R. A. Zwann (Eds.), Grounding cognition: The role of perception and action in memory, language, and thinking (pp. 198-223). New York: Cambridge University Press. MacWhinney, B., & Plh, C. (1988). The proces sing of restrictive re lative clauses in Hungarian. Cognition 29 95-141. McKee, C., Nicol, J, & McDaniel, D. (1993) Children’s applicati on of binding during sentence processing. Language and Cognitive Processes, 8 256-290. Mini database query. (n.d.) The Internationa l Picture-Naming Project. Retrieved from: http://crl.ucsd.edu/~aszekel y/ipnp/dataquery/querymini.php Ratcliff, R. (1993). Methods for dealing with reaction times outliers. Psychological Bulletin, 114 510-532. Reali, F., & Christiansen, M. H. (2007). Proces sing of relative clauses is made easier by frequency of occurrence. Journal of Memory and Language 57 1-23. Roberts, L., Marinis, T., Felser, C., & Clah sen, H. (2007). Antecedent priming at trace positions in children’s sentence processing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 36 175-188. Schuele, C. M. & Nicholls, L. M. (2000). Relative clauses: Evidence of continued linguistic vulnerability in children with specific language impairment. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 14 563-585.

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53 Schuele, C. M., & Tolbert, L. (2001). Omi ssions of obligatory relative markers in children with specific language impairment. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 15 257-274. Scott, C.M. (2009). A case for the sentence in reading comprehension. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40 184-191 Smith, M., Apperly, I., & White, V. (2003). Fals e belief reasoning and the acquisition of relative clause sentences. Child Development, 74 1709-1719. Smyth, R. (1995). Conceptual perspectivetaking and children’s interpretation of pronouns in reported speech Journal of Child Language, 22 171-187. Stavrakaki, S. (2001). Comprehension of reversible relative clauses in specifically language impaired and no rmally developing Greek children. Brain and Language, 77 419-431. Swinney, D., & Prather, P. (1989). On th e comprehension of lexical ambiguity by young children: investigations into the development of me ntal modularity. In D. S. Gorfein (Ed.), Resolving semantic ambiguity (pp. 225-238). New York: Springer-Verlag. Swinney, D., Prathers, P., & Love, T. (2000). The time-course of le xical access and the role of context: Convergi ng evidence from normal and aphasic processing. In Y. Grodzinsky, L. P. Shapiro, & D. Swinney (Eds.), Language and the Brain: Representation and process (pp. 273-292). New York: Academic Press. Traxler, M. J., Morris, R. K., & Seely, R. E. (2002). Processing subject and object relative clauses: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Memory and Language, 47 69-90. Woodcock, R.W., McGrew, K.S., & Mathers, N. (2001). Woodcock-Johnson III. Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing. Zeno, S. M., Ivens, S. T., Millard, R. T., & Duvvuri, R. (1995). The educator’s word frequency guide. New York: Touchstone Applied Science Associates.

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54 Appendices

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55 Appendix A 0 Switch Sentence Stimuli The boy that washed the elephant painted the clown. The waiter that bought the camel saw the queen. The fireman that carried the dog helped the girl. The clown that surprised the pig pushed the sailor. The king that met the lion believed the Eskimo. The nurse that loved the cat dressed the baby. The queen that passed the squirrel named the king. The witch that pushed the goat frightened the man. The sailor that believed the fish caught the pirate. The man that followed the horse taught the dentist. The girl that lifted the butterfly watched the boy. The Eskimo that helped the cow covered the witch. The pirate that taught the dragon raised the nurse. The dentist that saw the giraffe wrote the waiter. The baby that caught the bat noticed the fireman. The elephant that pleased the man saved the bat The dragon that named the pirate bought the horse. The pig that dressed the baby washed the goat. The giraffe that paid the sailor met the camel. The fish that saved the king pleased the dragon. The lion that raised the waiter followed the cat. The butterfly that painted the queen liked the dog. The squirrel that wrote the clown threw the fish. The cow that moved the witch paid the elephant. The horse that frightened the fireman passed lion. The bat that watched the dentist surprised the cow The cat that liked the boy lifted the butterfly. The dog that noticed the girl loved the giraffe. The goat that covered the Eskimo moved the pig. The camel that threw the nurse carried the squirrel.

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56 Appendix B 1Switch Sentence Stimuli The elephant washed the boy that painted the clown. The camel bought the waiter that saw the queen. The dog carried the fireman that helped the girl. The pig surprised the clown that pushed the sailor. The lion met the king that believed the Eskimo. The cat loved the nurse that dressed the baby. The squirrel passed the queen that named the king. The goat pushed the witch that frightened the man. The fish believed the sailor that caught the pirate. The horse followed the man that taught the dentist. The butterfly lifted the girl that watched the boy. The cow helped the Eskimo that covered the witch. The dragon taught the pirate that raised the nurse. The giraffe saw the dentist that wrote the waiter. The bat caught the baby that noticed the fireman. The man pleased the elephant that saved the bat. The pirate named the dragon that bought the horse. The baby dressed the pig that washed the goat. The sailor paid the giraffe that met the camel. The king saved the fish that pleased the dragon. The waiter raised the lion that followed the cat. The queen painted the butterfly that liked the dog. The clown wrote the squirrel that threw the fish. The witch moved the cow that paid the elephant. The fireman frightened the horse that passed the lion. The dentist watched the bat that surprised the cow. The boy liked the cat that lifted the butterfly. The girl noticed the dog that loved the giraffe. The Eskimo covered the goat that moved the pig. The nurse threw the camel that carried the squirrel.

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57 Appendix C 1+ Switch Sentence Stimuli The clown washed the elephant that the boy painted The queen bought the camel that the waiter saw The girl carried the dog that the fireman helped The sailor surprised the pig that the clown pushed The Eskimo met the lion that the king believed The baby loved the cat that the nurse dressed The king passed the squirrel that the queen named The man pushed the goat that the witch frightened The pirate believed the fish that the sailor caught The dentist followed the horse that the man taught The boy lifted the butterfly that the girl watched The witch helped the cow that the Eskimo covered The nurse taught the dragon that the pirate raised The waiter saw the giraffe that the dentist wrote The fireman caught the bat that the baby noticed The bat pleased the man that the elephant saved The horse named the pirate that the dragon bought The goat dressed the baby that the pig washed The camel paid the sailor that the giraffe met The dragon saved the king that the f ish pleased The cat raised the waiter that the lion followed The dog painted the queen that the butterfly liked The fish wrote the clown that the squirrel threw The elephant moved the witch that the cow paid The lion frightened the fireman that the horse passed The cow watched the dentist that the bat surprised The butterfly like the boy that the cat lifted The giraffe noticed the girl that the dog loved The pig covered the Eskimo that the goat moved The squirrel threw the nurse that the camel carried

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58 Appendix D 2 Switch Sentence Stimuli The boy that the elephant washed painted the clown. The waiter that the camel bought saw the queen. The fireman that the dog carried helped the girl. The clown that the pig surprised pushed the sailor. The king that the lion met believed the Eskimo. The nurse that the cat loved dressed the baby. The queen that the squirrel passed named the king. The witch that the goat pushed frightened the man. The sailor that the fish believed caught the pirate. The man that the horse followed taught the dentist. The girl that the butterfly lifted watched the boy. The Eskimo that the cow helped covered the witch. The pirate that the dragon taught raised the nurse. The dentist that the giraffe saw wrote the waiter. The baby that the bat caught noticed the fireman. The elephant that the man pleased saved the bat. The dragon that the pirate named bought the horse. The pig that the baby dressed washed the goat. The giraffe that the sailor paid met the camel. The fish that the king saved pleased the dragon. The lion that the waiter raised followed the cat. The butterfly that the queen painted liked the dog. The squirrel that the clown wrote threw the fish. The cow that the witch moved paid the elephant. The horse that the fireman frightened *passed the lion. The bat that the dentist watched surprised the cow. The cat that the boy liked lifted the butterfly. The dog that the girl noticed loved the giraffe. The goat that the Eskimo covered moved the pig. The camel that the nurse threw carried the squirrel.

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59 Appendix E Control Sentence Stimuli The boy next to the elephant painted the clown. The waiter near by the camel saw the queen. The fireman across from the dog helped the girl. The clown away from the pig pushed the sailor. The king far from the lion believed the Eskimo. The nurse without the cat dressed the baby. The queen beside the squirrel named the king. The witch above the goat frightened the man. The sailor in front of the fish caught the pirate. The man on top of the horse taught the dentist. The girl below the butterfly watched the boy. The Eskimo close to the cow covered the witch. The pirate under the dragon taught the nurse. The dentist behind the giraffe wrote the waiter. The baby beneath the bat noticed the fireman. The elephant far from the man saved the bat. The dragon above the pirate named the horse. The pig beside the baby washed the goat. The giraffe behind the sailor met the camel. The fish beneath the king pleased the dragon. The lion near by the waiter followed the cat. The butterfly on top of the queen liked the dog. The squirrel under the clown threw the fish. The cow next to the witch paid the elephant. The horse in front of the fireman passed the lion. The bat below the dentist surprised the cow. The cat close to the boy lifted the butterfly. The dog away from the girl loved the giraffe. The goat across from the Eskimo moved the pig. The camel without the nurse carried the squirrel.


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ABSTRACT: Fourteen young adults participated in a cross-modal picture priming study. Perspective shift processing, in four types of relative clause sentences and in control sentences, was assessed using reaction times. Predictions were: 1) the easier the perspective shifts, the faster the reaction times and 2) subject relative clauses would reveal a priming effect versus attenuated or no priming in object relative clauses due to difficulty following perspective. A priming effect was observed for 1- switch relative clause sentences and for control sentences, while no priming effect was observed for 0 switch, 1+ switch, or 2 switch sentences. Results suggest that variations in local syntactic constructions and word order facilitated relative clause processing. Violations of semantic expectations and noun-noun-verb distance in following perspective can both contribute to the complexity of relative clause processing.
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