Relative Clauses In Context An EEG study on the inﬂuence of topicality cues on grammatical role assignment
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Relative clauses in Dutch provide an ideal environment for testing the relative strength of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic cues the listener might employ to link subject- and object roles to sentence constituents. This thesis investigates the interplay between two such cues – discourse topicality and inherent topicality – in an EEG experiment using short discourse contexts. The Topichood Hypothesis, intro-duced by Mak (2001) and reported in Mak et al. (2002, 2006, 2008), will be reﬁned and further explored by directly contrasting two types of topicality introduced to account for processing biases in relative clause processing: the discourse topicality of a nominal referent and the inherent topicality of a pronominal referent. Despite behavioural evidence for an eﬀect of both topicality factors on relative-clause pro-cessing in Dutch, we did not ﬁnd a clear reﬂection of processing preferences in ERPs.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen