A further look: Is syntactic priming a plausible underlying mechanism for syntactic satiation?

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This thesis investigated whether syntactic priming could be a plausible underlying mechanism for the syntactic satiation effect. While previous research has explored the possible relationship between the two phenomena through the lens of the variable and lesser understood syntactic satiation effect (Do & Kaiser, 2017), the present study looked at the possible link between priming and satiation through the lens of the more robust syntactic priming effect. This was achieved by submitting double-object (DO) datives to a Dutch written language production priming experiment (Experiment 1) and a satiation-like acceptability judgment task with a priming paradigm (Experiment 2). We investigated whether priming and satiation are similarly sensitive to two factors that have previously been shown to modulate the strength of the syntactic priming effect: verb alternation bias and cumulative exposure (i.e., the number of prime structures a participant has encountered at any given point in the experiment). It was predicted that, if priming indeed is the mechanism underlying satiation, syntactic priming and syntactic satiation should be similarly sensitive to these factors. The effects of syntactic priming and syntactic satiation were explored both locally (i.e., from primes to targets) and globally (i.e., over the course of an entire experiment). As such, this study was the first to provide a comprehensive overview of the syntactic satiation effect. In Experiment 1, both local and global priming were found. In Experiment 2, global satiation but no local satiation was found. No reliable effects of verb bias were found in either experiment. These results are interpreted as preliminary evidence for a link between syntactic priming and syntactic satiation on a global level. More specifically, it is proposed that syntactic priming under an implicit learning account could be a plausible underlying mechanism for the global satiation effect observed for DO datives that were combined with PO-biased verbs in the present study.
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