Esaulova, Yulia, Dolscheid, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0001-9104-6386, Reuters, Sabine and Penke, Martina ORCID: 0000-0003-4686-7673 (2021). The alignment of agent-first preferences with visual event representations in German vs. Arabic speakers. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research (online). Springer.

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How does non-linguistic, visual experience affect language production? A series of experiments addressed this question by examining linguistic and visual preferences for agent positions in transitive action scenarios. In Experiment 1, 30 native German speakers described event scenes where agents were positioned either to the right or to the left of patients. Produced utterances had longer speech onset times for scenes with right- rather than left-positioned agents, suggesting that the visual organization of events can affect sentence production. In Experiment 2 another cohort of 36 native German participants indicated their aesthetic preference for left- or right-positioned agents in mirrored scenes and displayed a preference for scenes with left-positioned agents. In Experiment 3, 37 Arabic native participants performed the same non-verbal task showing the reverse preference. Our findings demonstrate that non-linguistic visual preferences seem to affect sentence production, which in turn may rely on the writing system of a specific language.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-364963
DOI: 10.1007/s10936-020-09750-3
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research
Number: online
Date: 2021
Publisher: Springer
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Heilpädagogik und Rehabilitation
Subjects: Language, Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
agent-first preferenceEnglish
visual event representationsEnglish
word orderEnglish
argument structureEnglish
writing/reading directionEnglish
Funders: DFG (SFB 1252)
Projects: Attention and Prominence in Language Production and Acquisition
Refereed: Yes


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