Syntactic and semantic constraints on parallel word processing during reading

01 November 2020 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics
    • Semantics
    • Syntax
  • Social sciences
    • Cognitive processes
    • Research methods and experimental design
Semantic & Syntactic processing Sentence comprehension Reading
Project description

In this four-year project, I will test several hypotheses generated by a new model of reading, the OB1-reader. This computational model assumes parallel processing of multiple words during natural reading. It is inherently based on evidence from studies which revolved around the parallel integration of orthographic information. As such, the model does not yet employ mechanisms which are dictated by higher-order semantic and syntactic information. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to investigate the extent of syntactic and semantic constraints on parallel word processing during reading, with the end-goal of further expanding the model. This project will exist out of three different parts, each looking at a subset of the research question and/or using a specific methodology to adequately provide an answer to these questions. In the first part, the focus will be on sentence superiority effects, in which we will zoom in on semantic and syntactic constraints on target word and sentence identification. The second line of research will then focus on specific effects of syntactic and semantic influences in the flanker paradigm. Finally, the last part will consist of looking at syntactic vs. semantic parafoveal-on-foveal (PoF) effects in sentence reading. Here, we will focus on eye-tracking methodology in order to look at the effects of syntactic and semantic properties of a word at the n+1 location on a word at location n.