LEC talk 22nd September: Olga Feher

By jon | September 17, 2015

Tuesday 22nd September, 11:00–12:30
Room 1.17, DSB

Olga Fehér

Structural priming in an artificial language

I am going to talk about a study that used artificial language learning paradigms to investigate structural priming (coordination with the syntactic structure of the partner’s previous utterance) during communicative interaction. We trained participants on artificial languages exhibiting unpredictable variation in word order, and subsequently had them communicate using these artificial languages. We found evidence for structural priming in two different grammatical constructions and across human-human and human-computer interaction. Priming occurred regardless of behavioural convergence: communication led to shared word order use only in human-human interaction, but priming was observed in all conditions. Furthermore, interaction resulted in the reduction of unpredictable variation, both in human-human interaction and in a condition where participants believed they were interacting with a human but were in fact interacting with a computer, suggesting that participants’ belief about their communication partner influenced their language use.