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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of syntactic and semantic predictability on sentence comprehension: A comparison between native and non-native speakers


Prediction is pervasive during sentence comprehension among native speakers of a language. But whether non-native speakers predict to the same extent as native speakers remains an open question. To examine the effects of semantic and syntactic predictability in native and non-native speakers, we con- ducted a self-paced reading and an acceptability judgement task. The results suggest that the effects of semantic and syntactic predictability are unequivocally robust among native speakers during sentence comprehension. However, the effects of syntactic predictability seem to be more robust for native speakers than for non-native speakers who are largely sensitive to semantic predictability.

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