Publication details [#63414]

Hsieh, Yufen. 2017. Structural priming during sentence comprehension in Chinese–English bilinguals. Applied Psycholinguistics 38 (3) : 657–678.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


Cross-linguistic priming in understanding is understudied, and it stays uncertain whether bilinguals have shared abstract syntactic representations during sentence comprehension. This paper reports a self-paced reading experiment exploring the impact of Chinese passive relative clauses on the interpretation of English sentences that are provisionally ambiguous between an active main clause and a passive reduced relative (dispreferred) structure. The results displayed that reading Chinese passive relative primes decreased processing difficulty in English targets at the dispreferred disambiguation. Chinese-to-English priming in understanding happened without lexical and word-order equivalence between primes and targets. In addition, translation-equivalent verbs did not boost cross-linguistic structural priming. The findings bolster an account under which bilingual sentence processing implicates abstract, unordered syntactic representations that are integrated between languages.