Integrating perceptual, semantic and syntactic information in sentence production.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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The experimental work and the theoretical model presented in this thesis explore the behaviour of the sentence production system in perceptually, conceptually, and syntactically changing environments across languages. Nine experiments examine how speakers of different languages integrate available perceptual, conceptual, and syntactic information during production of sentences. Such integration occurs under the global control of canonical causality and automated syntax. Analysis of speakers' performance in perceptually manipulated setting demonstrated that perceptual motivations for word order alternation are relatively weak and limited to the initial event apprehension. In addition, salience-driven choices of word order are realized differently in different syntactic structures and in languages with different grammatical systems. Combining perceptual and conceptual priming paradigms did not substantially improve cueing efficiency. Contrasting, early availability of lexical and syntactic information led to the most consistent alternation of the work order.
I conclude that the uptake of perceptual information does not directly influence structural processing. General cognitive processes, such as attentional control and higher memorial activation actively contribute to the concept's accessibility status, but the syntactic organization of a spoken sentence constitutes a relatively independent psychological reality that can be realized partially as a product of the aforementioned operations but does not directly depend on them.
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