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LINGUIST List 20.3733

Mon Nov 02 2009

Diss: Psycholing: Tremblay: 'Processing Advantages of Lexical...'

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        1.    Antoine Tremblay, Processing Advantages of Lexical Bundles: Evidence from self-paced reading, word ad sentence recall, and free recall with event-related brain potential recordings

Message 1: Processing Advantages of Lexical Bundles: Evidence from self-paced reading, word ad sentence recall, and free recall with event-related brain potential recordings
Date: 30-Oct-2009
From: Antoine Tremblay <trea26gmail.com>
Subject: Processing Advantages of Lexical Bundles: Evidence from self-paced reading, word ad sentence recall, and free recall with event-related brain potential recordings
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Institution: University of Alberta
Program: Applied Linguistics Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Antoine Tremblay

Dissertation Title: Processing Advantages of Lexical Bundles: Evidence from self-paced reading, word ad sentence recall, and free recall with event-related brain potential recordings

Dissertation URL: http://www.ualberta.ca/~antoinet/ThesisDraft_10_B.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Gary Libben
Bruce Derwing
Ruth Ann Atchley
Anthony Singhal
Chris Westbury

Dissertation Abstract:

Lexical bundles (LBs) are high frequency continuous multi-word strings,
which may span phrasal boundaries (e.g., I don't know whether, don't worry
about it, and in the middle of the). Given their high frequency of use,
many researchers have argued that such things are stored and processed as
single units. In this thesis, I address the question of whether four- and
five-word lexical bundles taken in their referential form are stored and/or
processed holistically.
I first examine this issue in three self-paced reading experiments, which
compared sentences containing LBs (e.g., in the middle of the) and matched
control sentence fragments (e.g., in the front of the). LBs and sentences
containing LBs were read faster than the control sentence fragments in all
three experiments. In two follow-up word and sentence recall experiments, I
demonstrated that the LB facilitatory effect is also present in recall:
More sentences containing LBs (e.g., But honestly, I don't think he ran
away) were correctly remembered than those containing non-lexical bundles
(NLBs; e.g., But honestly, I do think he ran away). Though these results
lend support to the view that highly frequent multi-word sequences are
stored and processed holistically, I could not reject the alternative
account according to which multi-word sequences are put together on-line
more or less quickly.
In order to clarify this issue and to determine whether the LB effect is
categorical or continuous, I conducted an immediate free recall task with
electroencephalogram recordings. Behavioral data showed that recall was
affected in a graded manner by whole-string probability as well as by
sequence-internal word and trigram frequencies. Electrophysiological data
revealed that whole-string probability modulated in a graded manner
posterior P1 and frontal N1 amplitudes ~ 110 - 150 ms after stimulus onset.
These results strongly suggest that at least some aspects of multi-word
sequences are stored and retrieved as wholes.
In conclusion, the results reported here support the view that (i) LBs and
NLBs are two extremes of a continuum, and (ii) regular multi-word sequences
leave memory traces in the brain, which is exactly in line with usage-based
accounts of language.



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