The role of syntactic cueing and of sentence position in the memory for focus during reading
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In four behavioural experiments, the present study investigated the link between information structure, attention and memory. Information structure was manipulated with regards to whether the information was placed into cued vs. non-cued sentences and in initial or final sentence position. The results of a saliency judgement task showed that linguistic focus was only perceived as more prominent when no context was preceding (exp. 1 and 2 vs. exp. 3). Otherwise non-focused information was more important regardless of whether it was lexically ( exp. 1) or referentially given ( exp. 2). Despite the different overall findings in experiments 1-3, the underlying pattems were identical in that focused information was chosen more often and faster when encountered'. in cued vs. non-cued sentences. Similarly, focused information was also remembered, better when previously encountered in cued vs. non-cued sentences ( exp. 4). The res'.lts suggest that information structure influences the depth of language processmg.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen