Building syntactic structures in speaking: a bilingual exploration.

Experimental psychology

PubMedID: 12874987

Meijer PJ, Tree JE. Building syntactic structures in speaking: a bilingual exploration. Exp Psychol. 2003;50(3):184-95.
In a series of three experiments we investigated syntactic priming using a sentence recall task. Participants read and memorized a target sentence for later recall. After reading a prime sentence and engaging in a distraction task, they were asked to produce the target sentence aloud. Earlier investigations have shown that this task is sensitive to a syntactic priming effect. That is, the syntactic form of the prime sentence sometimes influences the syntactic form of the recalled target. In this paper we report on a variation on this task, using Spanish-English bilingual participants. In the first two experiments we replicated the prepositional phrase priming effect using English target sentences and Spanish prime sentences. In the final experiment we investigated two additional syntactic forms, using Spanish target sentences and English prime sentences. Implications for models of syntax generation and bilingual speech production are discussed.