The effect of animacy on structural Priming: A replication of Bock, Loebell and Morey (1992)
Chen, X., Hartsuiker, R. J., Muylle, M., Slim, M. S., & Zhang, C.
The effect of animacy on structural Priming: A replication of Bock, Loebell and Morey (1992). Journal of Memory and Language, 127
: 104354. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2022.104354.
Bock et al. (1992) found that the binding of animacy features onto grammatical roles is susceptible to priming in sentence production. Moreover, this effect did not interact with structural priming. This finding supports an account according to which syntactic representations are insensitive to the consistency of animacy-to-structure mapping. This account has contributed greatly to the development of syntactic processing theories in language production. However, this study has never been directly replicated and the few related studies showed mixed results. A meta-analysis of these studies failed to replicate the findings of Bock et al. (1992). Therefore, we conducted a well-powered replication (n = 496) that followed the original study as closely as possible. We found an effect of structural priming and an animacy priming effect, replicating Bock et al.’s findings. In addition, we replicated Bock et al.’s (1992) observed null interaction between structural priming and animacy binding, which suggests that syntactic representations are indeed independent of semantic information about animacy.
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