Seeing a phrase “time and again” matters: the role of phrasal frequency in the processing of multiword sequences
Siyanova-Chanturia, Anna and Conklin, Kathy and Van Heuven, Walter J.B. (2011) Seeing a phrase “time and again” matters: the role of phrasal frequency in the processing of multiword sequences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 37 (3). pp. 776-784. ISSN 0278-7393
Official URL: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/xlm/37/3/776/
Are speakers sensitive to the frequency with which phrases occur in language. The authors report an eye-tracking study that investigates this by examining the processing of multiword sequences that differ in phrasal frequency by native and proficient nonnative English speakers. Participants read sentences containing 3-word binomial phrases (bride and groom) and their reversed forms (groom and bride), which are identical in syntax and meaning but that differ in phrasal frequency. Mixed-effects modeling revealed that native speakers and nonnative speakers, across a range of proficiencies, are sensitive to the frequency with which phrases occur in English. Results also indicate that native speakers and higher proficiency nonnatives are sensitive to whether a phrase occurs in a particular configuration (binomial vs. reversed) in English, highlighting the contribution of entrenchment of a particular phrase in memory.
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