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Processing of Non-Canonical Word Orders in (In)felicitous Contexts: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials

Abstract and Figures

In many languages with flexible word orders, canonical word order has a processing advantage over non-canonical word orders. This observation suggests that it is more costly for the parser to represent syntactically complex sentences because of filler-gap dependency formation. Alternatively, this phenomenon may relate to pragmatic factors because most previous studies have presented non-canonical word orders without felicitous context, which violates participants’ expectations regarding the information structure encoded by non-canonical word orders. The present study conducted an event-related potential experiment to examine the locus of the processing difficulty associated with non-canonical word orders in Japanese by manipulating word order (SOV vs. OSV) and the givenness of arguments. The non-canonical OSV sentence has been used felicitously when the O was mentioned in a prior discourse to make the discourse more coherent. The experiment’s results showed that OSV elicited a sustained left anterior negativity from O to S and a P600 effect at the S position compared to that of SOV in the infelicitous but not in the felicitous context. This result suggests that the processing difficulty of non-canonical word orders in Japanese is alleviated by discourse factors, such as the alignment of discourse-old and discourse-new NPs. [Open Access]
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Language,!Cognition!and!Neuroscience!
DOI:!https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2018.1489066!
Processing*of*non-canonical*word*orders*in*(in)felicitous*contexts:*
Evidence*from*event-related*brain*potentials*
*
Masataka!Yano!a!and!Masatoshi!Koizumi!b,!c!
a!Faculty!of!Humanities,!Kyushu!University,!Fukuoka!Japan;!b!Department!of!Linguistics,!
Graduate!School!of!Arts!and!Letters,!Tohoku!University,!Sendai,!Japan;!c!Harvard-Yenching!
Institute,!Cambridge,!MA,!USA!
masayano@kyudai.jp!
!
Abstract*
In!many!languages! with! flexible! word! orders,! canonical! word!order!has!a!processing!advantage!over!
non-canonical! word! orders.! This! observation! suggests! that! it! is! more! costly! for! the! parser! to! represent!
syntactically! complex! sentences! because! of! filler-gap! dependency! formation.! Alternatively,! this!
phenomenon!may!relate!to!pragmatic!factors!because!most!previous!studies!have!presented!non-canonical!
word!orders!without!felicitous!context,!which!violates!participants’!expectations!regarding!the!information!
structure.!The!present!study!conducted!an!event-related!potential!experiment!to!examine!the!locus!of!the!
processing! difficulty!associated! with! non-canonical! word! orders! in! Japanese! by! manipulating! word! order!
(SOV! vs.! OSV)! and! the! givenness! of! arguments.!The! results! showed! that! OSV! elicited! a! sustained! left!
anterior!negativity!from!O!to!S!and!a!P600!effect!at!S!compared!to!that!of!SOV!in!the!infelicitous!but!not!in!
the!felicitous! context.! This! result! sugg ests! that! the! processing! difficulty! of!non-canonical! word! orders! in!
Japanese!is!alleviated!by!discourse!factors.!
!
Keywords:* *
word!order,!givenness,!filler-gap!dependency,!Japanese,!event-related!potentials!
!
1. Introduction*
In! real-time! sentence! comprehension,! the! parser! incrementally! constructs! various! structural!
dependencies! from! a! string! of! successive!inputs.! Among!such! dependen cies,!the! processing! of! filler-gap!
dependency! has! been! extensively! examined.! Behavioural! experiments!of! many! languages! with! flexible!
word!orders!have!repeatedly!reported!that! canonical! word!order! has! a! processing!advantage!over!other!
possible!derived! word!orders!with! filler-gap!dependency!(Bader!&!Meng,! 1999;!Kaiser!&!Trueswell,! 2004;!
Kim,! 2012;! Koizumi! et! al.,! 2014;! Mazuka,! Itoh,! &! Kondo,! 2002;! Sekerina,! 1997;! Tamaoka! et! al.,! 2005;!
!
!
2!
Tamaoka,!Kanduboda,!&!Sakai,!2011).!For!example,!Tamaoka!et!al.!(2005)!found!that!it!took!more!time!to!
judge! whether! a! sentence! makes! sense! in! non-canonical! object-subject-verb! (OSV)!sentences! than! in!
canonical!subject-object-verb!(SOV)! sentences! in! Japanese.!The!processing!advantage!for!canonical!word!
order!has! also!been!attested! by!neurolinguistic!evidence,!such!as!fMRI!and!event-related!brain!potentials!
(ERPs)! (Fiebach,! Schlesewsky,! &! Friederici,! 2001,! 2002;! Fiebach,! Schlesewsky,! Lohmann,! von! Gramon,! &!
Friederici,! 2005;! Hagiwara,! Soshi,! Ishihara,! &! Imanaka,! 2007;! Kim! et! al.,! 2009;! Rösler,! Pechmann,! Streb,!
Röder,!&!Hennighausen,!1998;!Ueno!&!Kluender,!2003).!
These!observations!raise!the!question!of!why!canonical!is!preferred!over!non-canonical!word!orders!in!
sentence!comprehension.!One!possible!factor!is!conceptual!accessibility!(“the!ease!with!which!the!mental!
representation!of!some!potential!referent!can!be!activated!in!or!retrieved!from!memory,!Bock!&!Warren,!
1985,! p.!50)! (Bornkessel-! Schlesewsky! and! Schlesewsky,! 2009a,! 2009b;! Kemmerer,! 2012;! Tanaka! et! al.,!
2011).! In! the!languages! in! which! an! S! precedes! an! O,! a! conceptually! more! accessible! agent! precedes! a!
conceptually! less! accessible! patient! in! canonical! word! orders,! whereas!the! opposite! order! occurs! in!
non-canonical! word! orders.! Several! studies! have! reported! that! prominent! entities! such! as! an! agent,!
animates,! concretes,! and! prototypicals! tend! to! appear! as! sentence-initial! subjects! (cf.! Bock! &! Warren,!
1985;!Bornkessel-Schlesewsky!&!Schlesewsky,!2009a;!Branigan,! Pickering,! &! Tanaka,! 2008;! Hirsh-Pasek! &!
Golinkoff,!1996;! Primus,!1999;!Slobin!&!Bever,!1982).!Accordingly,!the!preference!for!canonical! SO! order!
may! derive!from! the! preference! for! agent-patient! order.!However,! this! hypothesis!cannot! explain! the!
preference!for!canonical!word!orders!in!languages!in!which!an!S! follows!an!O,!such!as!Kaqchikel!(a!Mayan!
language! spoken! in! Guatemala)!and!Truku!Seediq! (an! Austronesian!language! spoken! in! Taiwan).!Previous!
behavioural!and!ERP!experiments!have! found! that! canonical! VOS! order! incurred! a! lower!processing! cost!
compared!to!that!of!non-canonical!word!orders,!such!as!SVO!and!VSO!in!Kaqchikel! (Koizumi!et!al.,!2014;!
Koizumi! &! Kim,! 2016;! Yano,! Yasunaga,! &! Koizumi,! 2017;!Yasunaga,! Yano,! Yasugi,! &! Koizumi,! 2015).!
Moreover,!an!ERP!experiment!found!a!larger!P600!effect!for!the!non-canonical!SVO!than!the!canonical!VOS,!
irrespective!of!agent-patient!order! (i.e.!voice! alternation)!in!Truku!Seediq! (Yano! et! al.,!2017b).!Therefore,!
the! conceptual! accessibility! hypothesis! does! not! seem! plausible! for! explaining! canonical! word-order!
preference.!
Another! possibility! concerns! the! syntactic! complexities!of! non-canonical! sentences.! Since! the! filler!
must!be!associated!with!its!gap!position!(Frazier!&!Clifton,!1989),!the!storage!and!integration! cost!should!
increase!in! non-canonical! sentences!(Gibson,! 1998;! 2000).! This! hypothesis! has! been! supported! by! ERP!
experiments.!For!example,!Ueno! and!Kluender!(2003)!compared!the!canonical!SOV!sentences!in!(1a)!and!
the!non-canonical!OSV!sentences!in!(1b)!in!Japanese.!They!found!a!sustained!(bilateral)!anterior!negativity!
for!“the$reckless$adventurer-NOM”!in!OSV!compared!to!SOV.!Furthermore,!OSV!elicited!a!phasic!P600!effect!
!
!
3!
at!the!S!(adventurer-NOM).1!They!interpreted!their!results!by!assuming!that!the!parser!needed!to!actively!
maintain!an! O! in! the!working! memory! and! syntactically!integrate!it!with!its!original!position,!reflected!by!
sustained!anterior!negativity!and!P600! effects,!respectively.!An!fMRI!study!conducted!by!Kim! et!al.!(2009)!
revealed!greater!activity! at!the!left! inferior!frontal!gyrus!(LIFG)! in!OVS!than!in! SVO!in!Japanese.!They! also!
took!this!increased! activity!as! evidence! that!syntactic! complexity!due!to!filler-gap!dependency!induces! a!
processing!load!associated!with!OSV.!
!
(1)!
Ano!jimotono!shinbun-ni!yoruto!…! !
!
the!local!newspaper-to!according!…!
!
According!to!the!local!newspaper!..”!
!
a.!SOV:! !
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
sono! !
inochishirazuno! !
bokenka-ga! !
sore-o! !
mitsuketa-ndesu-ka.!
!
!
the! !
reckless! !
adventurer-NOM!
that-ACC! !
discovered-POL-Q!
!
!
“did!the!reckless!adventurer!finally!discover!that?”!
!
b.!OSV:! !
!
!
!
!
!
!
sore-oi!
sono! !
inochishirazuno! !
bokenka-ga! !
!_____i!
mitsuketa-ndesu-ka.!
!
that-ACC! !
the!
reckless! !
adventurer-NOM!
!
discovered-POL-Q!
!
However,!most!previous!studies!did!not!take!discourse!factors!into!account.!Canonical!word!order!can!
be!used!in!a! variety! of!contexts,!while!non-canonical!order!is!used! in! limited!contexts!in!which! discourse!
requirements!are!satisfied.!Because!previous!studies!presented!non-canonical!sentences!in!isolation,!which!
violated!participants’!expectations!regarding!their!information!structure,!the!extent!to!which!the!increased!
processing!difficulty!can!be!explained!by!discourse!factors!remains!unclear.! !
!
2. Processing*of*non-canonical*word*order*in*context*
The!felicitous!use!of!non-canonical!word!orders!has!been!suggested!to!correlate!with!discourse!factors,!
such!as! givenness,! as! well! as! sentence-internal,! non-syntactic! factors,! such! as! the! heaviness! of! displaced!
constituents! (e.g.! Aissen,! 1992;! Birner! &!Ward,! 2009;! Kuno,! 1987,$inter$ alia).! In! other! words,! canonical!
word! order! is! a! default! option! for! describing!an! event! and! occurs! in! a! wide! range! of! contexts,! whereas!
non-canonical!word!order!is!a!marked!choice,!and!its!use!must!be!well!motivated.!Kuno!(1978)!claimed!that!
scrambling! is! motivated! by! what! he! called! the! Informa tion! Flow! Principle.! According! to! the! Information!
Flow! principle,! OSV! in! Japanese! is! used! felicito usly! when! O! refers!to! discourse-older!information! than! S!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1!They!also!observed!a!P600!again!at!the!adverb!(“toto”!finally).!The!successive!P600!effects!may!be!due!to!
a!temporal!ambiguity!of!an!original!position!of!the!filler.!If!the!parser!actively!attempts!to!fill!a!gap!(Active!
Filler!Strategy,!Frazier!and!Clifton,!1989),!it!should!perform!a!gap-filling!parsing!at!S!first!and!do!so!again!at!
the!adverb!after!detecting!a!final!gap!position.!
!
!
4!
does.!Otherwise,!SOV!should!be!preferred!over!OSV.!Consistent!with!this!view,!a!corpus!analysis!conducted!
by!Imamura!(2014)!demonstrated!that! the! O!of!OSV!in! Japanese!was!discourse-old!information! in!81%!of!
OSV! occurrences! in! the! corpus! (see! also! Imamura,! 2015;!Imamura! &! Koizumi,! 2011).! Furthermore,! in! a!
sentence!recall!task,!Ferreira!and!Yoshita! (2003)!observed!that! native!Japanese!speakers! tend! to!produce!
ditransitive!sentences!in!the!given-new!order!when!asked!to!recall!those!that!originally!had!the!new-given!
order.!These!observations!support!that!scrambling!in!Japanese!is!motivated!to!create!a!given-new!order!in!
a!sentence.!
Despite!this! close! correlation,! most! previous! studies! on! sentence! comprehension! examined!the!
processing! of! non-canonical! structures! without! felicitous! context,! which! leads! to! a! confounding!of! the!
difficulty!of! syntactically! complex!structures! and! the! accommodating!of! an! unsatisfied! discourse!
requirement.! This! problem! was! discussed! in! Kaiser! and!Trueswell! (2004),! who!conducted! a! self-paced!
reading!experiment!to!examine!whether!the!processing!difficulty!with!non-canonical!word!order!relates!to!
discourse!factors!rather!than!syntactic!complexities!in!Finnish!(see!also!Clifton!C!&!Frazier,!2004;!Grodner,!
Gibson,!&!Watson,!2005;!Meng,!Bader,!&!Bayer,!1999;!Sekerina,!2003).!They!presented!two!context!types,!
as!shown!in!(2).!The!supportive!context!in!(2a)!referred!to!an!O!of!the!target!sentences!in!(3b)!to!license!a!
felicitous!use!of!OVS,!in!which!O!must!be!discourse-old!information!in!Finnish,!whereas!the!non-supportive!
context! in! (2b)! did! not.!The! result! showed! no! interaction! of! context! and! word! order! at! the! V! (seurasi$
followed”).! However,!they! found! a! significant! two-way! interaction!at! the! NP2! (“hare-PART”! and!
mouse-NOM),!due!to!a!longer!reading!time!in!OVS!than!in!SVO!only!in!the!non-supportive!context.! !
!
(2)!
Preceding!context!
!
Lotta!
etsi!
eilen!
sieniä!
metsässä.!
Hän!
huomasi!
!
Lotta!
looked-for!
yesterday!
mushrooms!
forest-in!
She-NOM!
noticed!
!
heinikossa!
(a)jäniksen!/(b)hiiren!
joka!
liikkui!
varovasti!
eteenpäin.!
!
grass-in!
hare-ACC/mouse-ACC!
that!
was.moving!
carefully! !
forward.!
!
“Lotta!looked!for!mushrooms!in!the!forest!yesterday.!She!noticed!{(a)!a!hare!/(b)!a!mouse}!moving!
forward!carefully!in!the!grass.”!
!
(3)!
a.!SVO!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Hiiri!
seurasi!
jänistä!
ja!
linnut!
lauloivat.!
!
mouse-NOM!
followed!
hare-PART!
and!
birds!
were.singing.!
!
b.!OVS!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Jänistä!
seurasi!
hiiri!
ja!
linnut!
lauloivat.!
!
hare-PART!
followed!
mouse-NOM!
and!
birds!
were.singing.!
!
“The!mouse!followed!the!hare!and!birds!were!singing.”!
! !
!
!
5!
!A! similar!interaction! of!context! by! word! order!has!been!observed!in! Japanese.! In! Japanese,! the!
canonical! word! order!is! SOV.! According! to! transformational! syntactic! theories,! non-canonical! OSV!
sentences!involve!a! filler-gap!dependency!between!the!fronted!O!and!an!associated!gap! between!S!and!V!
(i.e.![Oi![S!gapi!V]]).!This!filler-gap!dependency!is!lacking!in!canonical!SOV!sentences.!Koizumi!and!Imamura!
(2017)!ran!a! self-paced!reading!experiment!using!the! same! factorial!manipulation!as!Kaiser! and!Trueswell!
(2004)!(i.e.!supportive/non-supportive!!canonical/non-canonical!word!order).!They!observed!a!significant!
interaction!between!word!order!and!context!at!the!NP2.!This!interaction!showed!a!larger!word-order!effect!
in! the! unsupportive! than! in!the! supportive! context.! At! the! V,! only! the! main! word-order! effect! was!
significant,!reflecting!a!longer!reading!time!for!OSV.!
!
(4)!
Gaimusyoo-no!
zikan-wa!
(a)!Kaneda-da.!/!(b)!Kuroki-da.! !
!
Ministry.of.Foreign.Affairs-GEN!
vice.minister-TOP!
Kaneda-COP!/!Kaneda-COP!
!
“It!is!(a)!Kaneda/(b)!Kuroki!who!is!the!vice!minister!of!the!Ministry!of!Foreign!Affairs.!
(5)!
a.!SOV:! !
!
!
!
!
Kuroki-ga!
Kaneda-o!
mukaeta!
rashii.!
!
Kuroki-NOM!
Kaneda-ACC!
welcomed!
is.likely!
!
“It!is!likely!that!Kuroki!welcomed!Kaneda.”!
!
b.!OSV:! !
!
!
!
!
Kaneda-o!
Kuroki-ga!
mukaeta!
rashii.!
!
Kaneda-ACC!
Kuroki-NOM!
welcomed! !
is.likely.!
! !
These!results! suggest!that!the!processing!difficulty!of!non-canonical!sentences! decreased!when!their!
discourse! requirement! was! satisfied.! However,! it! is!not! clear! from! behavioural! experiments! how! this!
context! effect! pertains! to! the! processing! difficulty!that! has! been! claimed! to! be! associated! with!
long-distance! dependency! formation,! such! as! the! filler! storage!cost! indexed! by! sustained! anterior!
negativity!and!the! syntactic!integration!cost!indexed!by!P600!in!ERP!experiments.!If!these!ERP! effects! are!
related!to!the!cost! of! syntactic!dependency!formation!as!has!been!suggested,! we!expect!them! not!to!be!
modulated!by!contextual!factors.!On!the!other!hand,!if!they!reflect!discourse-level!processing!difficulty,!we!
expect!that!they!would!attenuate!or!disappear!in!felicitous!contexts.!
!
3. Experiment*
3.1. Stimuli*
The!sentences!in!(6)!and!(7)!show!a!sample!set!of!experimental!context!and!target!sentences,!in!which!
two!factors!are!manipulated:!WORD!ORDER!(SOV/OSV)!!GIVENNESS!(New-Given/Given-New).!
!
!
!
!
6!
(6)!
Kooban-ni!
(a)!Yoshida-san-ga!/(b)!Kimura-san-ga! !
imasu.!
!
police.box-in!
Yoshida-Mr-NOM!/!Kimura-Mr-NOM!
be!
!
“(a)!Mr.!Yoshida!/(b)!Mr.!Kimura!is!in!the!police!box.”!
!
(7)!
!
NP1!
ADV1!
NP2!
V!
AUX!
!
a.!SOV:!
Yoshida-san-ga!
kinoo-no!
Kimura-san-o!
yurushita!
rashii.!
!
!
Yoshida-Mr-NOM!
yesterday-GEN!
Kimura-Mr-ACC!
forgave! !
seem!
!
!
“It!seems!that!Mr.!Yoshida!forgave!Mr.!Kimura!last!night.!
!
b.!OSV:!
Kimura-san-o!
kinoo-no!
Yoshida-san-ga!
yurushita!
rashii.!
!
!
Kimura-Mr-ACC!
yesterday-GEN!
Yoshida-Mr-NOM! !
forgave! !
seem!
!
Givenness!of!arguments!was!manipulated!by!presenting!an!existential!sentence,!such!as!in!(6),!which!
referred!to!either!the!S!or!O!of!the!target!sentences.!SOV!can!be!used!in!a!wider!range!of!contexts,!allowing!
given-new!or!new-given!orders.!Thus,!(7a)!did!not! violate!an!information!order!requirement.! OSV,! on!the!
other!hand,!is!a!marked!word!order;!thus,!it!is!used!felicitously!when!O!is!discourse-given!information.!The!
lead-in!sentence!in! (6b)!made!the!OSV! in! (7b)!felicitous!because! it! mentioned!O’s! referent;! thus,! the! OS!
order! corresponded!to! the! given-new! order.! In! contrast,! the!lead-in! sentence!in! (6a)! did!not! establish! a!
supportive!context!for!an!appropriate!use!of!OSV!in!(7b).2!
The!NPs!of!the!target!sentences!were!common!family!names!with!no!bias!for!particular!thematic!roles.!
Temporal! adverbs! intervened! between! the! S! and! the! O! to! increase! the!memory! cost.! These! NPs! and!
temporal! adverbs! were!used! four! times! across! items,! so! any! ERP! difference!was!not! due! to! lexical!
differences!between!conditions.!Verbs! were! followed! by! the! modal!auxiliary!rashii”! (seem)! to! avoid! the!
wrap-up!effect!at!the!V.! One!hundred!twenty!sets!of!experimental!stimuli!were! distributed!into!four!lists,!
according!to!a!Latin!square!design,!so!no!participant!read!more!than!one!sentence!from!the!same!set.!The!
lists!were!counterbalanced!across!the!participants.! !
!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2!One! might! wonder! whether! repeating! proper! names! in! the! context! and! the! target! sentences! sounds!
unnatural!because!they!are!discourse-old!information.!However,!Tsuchiya!et!al.!(2015)!reported!that!native!
Japanese!speakers!overwhelmingly!preferred!the!use!of!referential!nouns!(e.g.!definite!NPs)!to!pronouns!in!
the! narrative! telling! task,! unlike! in! English,! in! which! pronouns! are! preferred! to! refer! to! a! discourse-old!
referent.!Hence,!the! repeated!use!of!proper!names!is!not! problematic! in!Japanese.!However,!because!the!
preceding!context!renders!an!NP! a! topic! of! a! discourse,! marking! it! with! a! nominative!or!accusative!case!
instead!of!a!topic!marker!(-wa)$is!not!frequent!in!Japanese.!However,!Hirotani!and!Schumacher!(2011)!did!
not! observe! any! difference! between! the! nominative! and! the! topic! S! when! it! was! mentioned! in! the!
preceding!context.!Thus,!it!is!unlikely!that!this!affected!our!results.!Furthermore,!the!use!of!a!topic!marker!
“-wa”! for! discourse-given! NPs! is! problematic! for! the! purpose! of! the! current! experiment! because! this!
induces!an!S-O!ambiguity.!Assuming!that!the!native!Japanese!speakers!disambiguate!ambiguous!sentences!
into!canonical!sentences,! O-waGIVENS-gaNEWV! (O-TOP!S-NOM!V)! should!be!temporarily!analysed!as! a!canonical!
SOV!sentence!until!encountering! S.!Accordingly,!such!a!sentence!should!not!elicit!a!SLAN!effect,!making!it!
impossible!to!examine!how!it!is!affected!by!discourse-level!information.!
!
!
7!
3.2. Prediction*
The!present!study!is! interested!in! two!types!of!ERP!effects,!namely,!sustained!left!anterior!negativity!
(SLAN)! and! P600.! SLAN! has! been! observed! between! the! filler! and! its! original! position! in! scrambled!
sentences!(Hagiwara!et! al.,!2007;!Matzke,!Mai,!Nager,!Rüsseler,(&(Münte,(2002;( Ueno(&(Kluender,( 2003),!
wh-questions! (Fiebach!et!al.,!2001;! Phillips,! Kazanina,! &! Abada,! 2005),! and! post-nominal!relative! clauses!
(King%&%Kutas,%1995;%Müller,%King,%&%Kutas,%1997).!Previous!studies!have!proposed!that!it!is!an!index!of!the!
working!memory!load!to!actively!maintain!the!filler!in!working!memory!(Hagiwara!et!al.,!2007;!King!&!Kutas,!
1995;!Kluender(&(Kutas,(1993;( Matzke(et(al.,(2002;(Müller(et(al.,( 1997;( Phillips( et( al.,(2005).!If! this! is! the!
case,!we!expect!that!SLAN!would!not!be!modulated!by!givenness!(see!Discussion).!On!the!other!hand,!if!it!
reflects! a! discourse-level! processing! cost!to! accommodate! the! discourse! requirement! encoded! by!
non-canonical!word!orders,!we!predict!that!a!felicitous!context!ameliorates!it,!leading!to!SLAN’s!lack.!
P600!has!been!observed!at!the!gap!position!of!filler-gap!dependency!and!proposed!to!reflect!syntactic!
processing!difficulty!to!associate!a!filler!with!its!original!position!(Kaan,!Harris,!Gibson,!&!Holcomb,!2000).!
We!expect!no!givenness!effect!if!the!P600!reflects!a!syntactic!integration!difficulty.!However,!if!it!relates!to!
a!discourse-level!processing!cost,!we!predict!a!P600!in!the!infelicitous!but!not!in!the!felicitous!context.! !
In!addition!to!these!ERP!effects,!we!expect!a!reduced!N400!effect!for!given!NPs!at!NP1!(S!of!SOV!and!
O!of! OSV)!and!NP2! (O! of!SOV!and! S! of!OSV)!since!N400! has!been!known!to!be!sensitive!to! priming!effect!
(Kutas!&! Federmeier,! 2011;! Kutas! &! Van! Petten,! 1988).! Although!it!forms! part! of! the! result! of!statistical!
analyses!reported!below,!this!effect!is!of!no!interest!for!the!present!purpose.! !
!
3.3. Procedure*
Stimuli!were!presented!in!the!centre! of! the! monitor! in! rand om! order,! using!Presentation!ver.!17.0.!
(Neurobehavioral!Systems).!At!the!beginning!of!each!trial,!a!fixation!was!presented!for!1000!ms,!followed!
by!a! blank! screen! for! 300!ms.! A! lead-in! context!in! (6)! was! presented! in! its! entirety! for! 2000! ms! with! an!
inter-stimulus! interval! (ISI)! of! 200! ms.! After!that,! each! phrase!of!the! target!sentences! was! presented!for!
700!ms!with!200!ms!ISI.!A!comprehension!task!was!administered!at!the!end!of!each!trial!to!check!whether!
our!participants!understood!sentences!correctly.!Participants!were!required!to!answer!questions!(e.g.!Is$it$
Mr.$Yoshida$who$forgave$Mr.$Kimura?),!by!pressing!the!YES!or!NO”!button!on!the!response!pad!(Cedrus,!
RB-740).! Prior! to! the! main! experiment,! twelve!practice! trials! were! completed! to! familiarise! participants!
with!the!experimental!procedure.!
!
3.4. Electrophysiological*recording*
!EEGs!were!recorded!from!19!Ag!electrodes!(QuickAmp,!Brain!Products)!located!at!Fp1/2,!F3/4,!C3/4,!
P3/4,! O1/2,! F7/8,! T7/8,! P7/8,! Fz,! Cz,! and! Pz! according! to! the ! international! 10–20! system! (Jasper.! 1958).!
Additional!electrodes!were!placed! below!and!to! the!left!of! the!left!eye! to!monitor!horizontal! and!vertical!
eye!movements.!The!online!reference!was!set!to!the!average!of!all!electrodes!and!EEGs!were!re-referenced!
!
!
8!
offline!to!the!average!value!of!the!earlobes.!The!impedances!of!all!electrodes!were!maintained!at!less!than!
10!kΩ!throughout!the!experiment.!The!EEGs! were!amplified!with!a!bandpass!of!DC! to!200!Hz,!digitised!at!
1000!Hz.! !
!
3.5. Electrophysiological*data*analysis*
!Trials! with! large! artefacts! (exceeding! ±80! µV)! were! automatically! removed! from! the! analysis.!Two!
types! of! analyses! were!conducted! following! previous! studies! on! the! processing!of!filler-gap!dependency,!
namely,!cumulative!multi-word!and!single-word!analyses!(Fiebach!et!al.,!2001;!King!&!Kutas,!1995;!Phillips!
et!al.,!2005;!Ueno! &!Kluender,!2003,!2009).!The!cumulative!multi-word!analysis!examined!SLAN!from! NP1!
to!NP2.! The!baseline!was!set!to!100!ms!prior!to!the!onset!of!NP1.!The!SLAN!was!expected!to!appear!after!
lexical!access!to!NP1!was!completed!(i.e.!approximately!300500!ms).!Hence,!for!NP1,!SLAN’s!presence!was!
examined! to! compare! the! mean! amplitude! of! 500900! ms.! The! time-window! of! 300500! ms! was! also!
tested!to!examine!a!priming!effect,!although!it!is!not!of!interest.!For!the! following!two!adverbs,!the!SLAN!
was!assessed!by!calculating!the!mean!amplitude!from!100!ms!after!the!onset!of!each!region!to!the!end!of!
the!epoch!(100900!ms)!(cf.!Lau!&!Liao,!2017;!Phillips!et!al.,!2005).! !
The!single-word!analysis!examined!a!P600!at!NP2,!which!has!been!associated!with!the!integration!cost.!
The!V!region!was!also!examined! because! some! previous! studies! reported!a!P600!for! non-canonical! word!
orders.! The! baseline! was! set! to! 100! ms! prior!to! the! onset! of! each! phrase.! The! ERPs! were! quantified! by!
calculating! the! mean! amplitude! for! each! participant! relative! to! the! baseline! using!three!time! windows:!
300500!ms,! 500700!ms,!and!700900!ms.! All!EEGs!were!filtered!offline!using!a!10!Hz!low-pass!filter!for!
presentation!purposes.!
!All!statistical!analyses! were! conducted! separately!at!the!midline!(Fz,!Cz,!and!Pz),!lateral!(F3/4,!C3/4,!
and! P3/4),! and! temporal! (Fp1/2,! F7/8,! T7/8,! P7/8,! and! O1/2)! arrays.! The! midline! analysis! consisted! of!
repeated!measures!ANOVAs!with!three!within-group! factors:!WORD!ORDER!(WO)!(SOV/OSV)!×!GIVENNESS!
(Given-New/New-Given)! ×!ANTERIORITY.!The! lateral! and! temporal! analyses! involved! four! within-group!
factors:! WO!×!GIVENNESS!×!HEMISPHERE!(left/right)! ×!ANTERIORITY.!When! an!interaction! occurred!
between!WO!×!GIVENNESS,!post!hoc!analyses!were!conducted!to!examine!the!effect!of!WO!at!each!level!of!
GIVENNESS! and! that! of! GIVENNESS! at! each! level! of! WO.!When! WO! and/or! GIVENNESS! interacted! with!
topographic! factors! (ANTERIORITY/HEMISPHERE),! post! hoc! analyses! were! conducted! at! each! level!of!
topographic!factors!(e.g.!front,!central,!and!posterior).!The!Greenhouse-Geisser!correction!was!applied!for!
all!effects!involving! more! than! one! degree!of!freedom!(Greenhouse!&! Geisser,!1959).!In!these!cases,!the!
original!degrees!of!freedom!and!the!corrected!p-value!were!reported.! !
!
3.6. Participants*
Sixteen!native!Japanese! speakers!were!recruited!from!Tohoku!University!(five!females!and!11!males,!
M! =!20.6,! SD! =!1.6,! range:! 19.224.3).! All! participants! were! classified! as! right-handed! based! on! the!
!
!
9!
Edinburgh!handedness!inventory!(Oldfield,!1971),!and!three!of!them!had!a!left-handed!family!member.!All!
participants!had! normal! or! corrected-to-normal!vision!and!no!history! of! reading!disability!or! neurological!
disorders.!This!study!was!approved!by!the!Ethics!Committee! of! the! Graduate! School! of! Arts! and! Letters,!
Tohoku!University.!Written!informed!consent!was!obtained!from!all!participants!prior!to!the!experiment,!
and!they!were!paid!for!their!participation.! !
!
3.7. Results*
3.7.1. Behavioural*data*
The! mean! accuracy! of! the! comprehension! question! task! was! 87%! (SNEWOGIVENV:! 87.9%,! SGIVENONEWV:!
87.5%,!ONEWSGIVENV:!85.2%,!OGIVENSNEWV:!87.5%).!The!repeated-measures!ANOVA!showed!no!significant!main!
effect!or!interaction!in!subject!and!item!analyses!(all!ps!>!0.10).! !
!
3.7.2. Electrophysiological*data*
Multi-word*cumulative*analysis*
Figure!1!shows!the!grand!average!ERP! from! the! onset! of! NP1!to! that! of! NP2!of!the!target!sentence.!
Visual!inspection!of! the! graph! suggests!a!striking!difference! between!OSV!at!the!left!frontal!sites,! with!a!
larger!negativity!for!ONEWSGIVENV.!
!
!
!
10!
!
Figure!1.!Grand!average!ERPs!from!NP1!to!NP2.!(Boldface!in!the!legend!indicates!discourse-given!NPs)!
!
Table!1.!Statistical!results!of!the!cumulative!analysis.!
!
Note:!+:!p!<!.10,!*:!p!<!.05,!**:!p!<!.01,!***:!p!<!.005!
!
In!the!300500!ms!time-window!of!NP1,!the!main!effect!of! GIVENNESS!was!significant!at!all!arrays,!
showing!a!larger!N400!for!the!new!NPs!compared!to!the!given!NPs,!due!to!priming!effect!(Table!1).!
In! the! 500–900! ms! time-window!of! NP1,! the! interaction! of! WO! ×!GIVENNESS! ×!ANTERIORITY!was!
marginally! significant! at! the! temporal!array.! The! post! hoc! analyses!revealed! that! ONEWSGIVENV! showed! a!
larger!anterior!negativity!than!SNEWOGIVENV!(Fp1/2:!F(1,!15)!=!15.41,!p!<!0.01;!F7/8:!F(1,!15)!=!6.82,!p!<!0.05),!
whereas!OGIVENSNEWV!did!not!show!a!negativity!compared!to!SGIVENONEWV.!Furthermore,!ONEWSGIVENV!showed!
!!NP1:!300–500!ms!!!!!!!NP1:!500–900!ms!!!!!!ADV1:!100–900!ms!!ADV2:!100–900!ms!!!!NP1:!300–500!ms!!!!!!NP1:!500–900!ms!!!!!!ADV1:!100–900!ms!!!!ADV2:!100–900!ms!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!New-Given:!!!!OSV!!minus!!!SOV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Given-New:!!!!OSV!!!minus!!!SOV!
2.0
−2.0
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SOV:!!!!New-Given!!minus!!!Given-New!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OSV:!!!!New-Given!!minus!!!Given-New
!!NP1:!300–500!ms!!!!!!!NP1:!500–900!ms!!!!!!ADV1:!100–900!ms!!ADV2:!100–900!ms!!!!NP1:!300–500!ms!!!!!!NP1:!500–900!ms!!!!!!ADV1:!100–900!ms!!!!ADV2:!100–900!ms!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2.0
−2.0
SNEWOGIVENVMr.Yoshida-NOM! !yesterday-GEN !night!!!Mr.Kimura-ACC !forgave! !seem!
SGIVENONEWVMr.Yoshida-NOM9 !yesterday-GEN !night!!!Mr.Kimura-ACC !forgave! !seem!
ONEWSGIVENVMr.Kimura-ACC! !yesterday-GEN !night!!!Mr.Yoshida-NOM9 !forgave! !seem!
OGIVENSNEWVMr.Kimura-ACC9 !yesterday-GEN !night!!!Mr.Yoshida-NOM! !forgave! !seem!
-11!
5!
Fp1!
NP1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ADV1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ADV2
-11!
5!
F7!
-11!
5!
F3!
-11!
5!
Fz!
-11!
5!
T7!
-11!
5!
C3!
-11!
5!
Cz!
NP1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ADV1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ADV2
Word%O rder% (WO) 1.45 1.11 0.66 0.82 0.83 0.01 0.52 1.14 0.65 0.36 0.16 0.02
Givenness%(G) 32.31 *** 33.56 *** 50.74 *** 2.67 3.69 3.35 +7.35 *6.95 *5.65 *6.64 *6.12 *3.28 +
WO%%Anteriority%(Ant) 0.02 0.26 0.34 0.30 1.81 1.55 0.06 1.11 0.74 0.04 1.43 0.86
G%%Ant 0.14 0.21 0.53 4.03 +10.88 *** 3.48 +1.34 2.37 0.31 1.45 2.46 0.45
WO%%G 1.25 0.98 1.68 0.40 0.29 1.79 0.55 0.75 0.30 1.01 1.32 0.01
WO%%G%%Ant 0.67 0.03 0.23 2.19 0.56 2.79 +1.25 0.65 5.38 *0.28 0.54 1.58
WO%%Hemisphere%(Hem) 0.88 0.88 0.06 1.37 </0.01 3.09 +0.01 3.57
G%%Hem 0.04 1.50 0.21 1.45 0.73 1.28 1.15 0.49
WO%%Ant%%Hem 2.34 1.35 1.20 1.05 1.19 0.39 0.89 0.54
G%%Ant%%Hem 0.06 0.56 1.44 0.47 2.48 0.63 2.08 1.08
WO%%G%%Hem 0.27 0.61 0.26 </0.01 1.07 0.03 0.11 </0.01
WO%%G%%Ant%%Hem 0.81 0.18 0.50 0.11 0.51 1.08 0.75 0.77
Adv2:%100–900%ms
Midline
Lateral
Tem por al
NP1:%300–500%ms
NP1:%500–900%ms
Adv1:%100–900%ms
Midline
Lateral
Tem por al
Midline
Lateral
Tem por al
Midline
Lateral
Tem por al
!
!
11!
a!larger!anterior! negativity!than!OGIVENSNEWV!(Fp1/2:!F(1,!15)!=! 20.91,! p!<! 0.01;! F7/8:! F(1,! 15)! =! 15.36,! p!<!
0.01),! whereas!the!two!SOV!conditions!did! not! differ.! The! interaction! of! GIVENNESS! ×!ANTERIORITY!was!
also!significant!at!the!lateral!array!and!marginally!significant!at! the!midline!and!temporal!arrays,!due!to!a!
GIVENNESS!effect!at!the!frontal!sites!(Fz:!F(1,!15)!=!10.97,!p!<!0.01;!F3/4:!F(1,!15)!=!9.83,!p!<!0.01;!C3/4:!F(1,!
15)!=!4.29,!p!=!0.05;!Fp1/2:!F(1,!15)!=!6.97,!p!<!0.05;!Fp7/8:!F(1,!15)!=!10.19,!p!<!0.01).!
At! ADV1,! the! three-way! interaction! of! WO! ×!GIVENNESS! ×!ANTERIORITY!was! significant!at! the!
temporal! array.! Post! hoc! analyses! revealed! that! the! anterior! negativity! continued! to! ADV1! in! the!
ONEWSGIVENV;! ONEWSGIVENV! showed! a! larg er! anterior!negativity!than! SNEWOGIVENV! (Fp1/2 :! F(1,! 15)! =! 3.73,! p!=!
0.07),! whereas! OGIVENSNEWV! did! not.! Furthermore,! ONEWSGIVENV! showed! a! larger! anterior! negativity! than!
OGIVENSNEWV!(Fp1/2:!F(1,!15)!=!11.57,!p!<!0.01).!The!main!effect! of! GIVENNESS!was!also!significant,!with!a!
larger!negativity!for!the!new-given!conditions!compared!to!that!of!the!given-new!conditions.!
At!ADV2,!the!only!significant!effect!was!the!main!effect!of!GIVENNESS,!showing!a!larger!negativity!for!
the!new-given!conditions!than!the!given-new!conditions.! !
!
3.7.3. Single-word*analyses*
The*NP2*
Figure!2!shows!the!grand!average!ERP!of!NP2!of!the! target! sentence.!Visual!inspection!of! the! graph!
suggests!that!ONEWSGIVENV!showed!a!posterior!positivity,!but!OGIVENSNEWV!did!not.!
!
!
!
12!
!
Figure!2.!Grand!average!ERPs!at!NP2.! !
!
-7#
5#
P3#
-7#
5#
Fp1#
-7#
5#
Fp2#
-7#
5#
F7#
-7#
5#
F3#
-7#
5#
Fz#
-7#
5#
F4#
-7#
5#
F8#
-7#
5#
T7#
-7#
5#
C3#
-7#
5#
Cz#
-7#
5#
C4#
-7#
5#
T8#
-7#
5#
P7#
-7#
5#
Pz#
-7#
5#
P4#
-7#
5#
P8#
-7#
5#
O1#
-7#
5#
O2#
SNEWOGIVENVMr.Yoshida-NOM# #yesterday-GEN #night# #Mr.Kimura-ACC #forgave# #seem
SGIVENONEWVMr.Yoshida-NOM##yesterday-GEN #night# #Mr.Kimura-ACC #forgave# #seem
ONEWSGIVENVMr.Kimura-ACC# #yesterday-GEN #night #Mr.Yoshida-NOM##forgave# #seem
OGIVENSNEWVMr.Kimura-ACC##yesterday-GEN #night #Mr.Yoshida-NOM# #forgave# #seem
####300–500#ms#######500–700#ms########700–900#ms###########300–500#ms#########500–700#ms##########700–900#ms#
##############New-Given:####OSV##minus###SOV#############################################Given-New:####OSV###minus###SOV#
2.0
−2.0
########SOV:####New-Given##minus###Given-New###################################OSV:####New-Given##minus###Given-New
####300–500#ms#######500–700#ms########700–900#ms###########300–500#ms#########500–700#ms##########700–900#ms#
2.0
−2.0
!
!
13!
Table!2.!Statistical!results!for!NP2.!
!
Note:!+:!p!<!.10,!*:!p!<!.05,!**:!p!<!.01,!***:!p!<!.005!
!
In!300500!ms,!the!main!effect!of!GIVENNESS!was!significant!in!all!arrays,!due!to!attenuated!N400!for!
the!given!NPs!compared!to!the!new!NPs!(Table!2).3!The!effect!of!GIVENNESS!interacted!with!ANTERIORITY!
at!the! temporal!array,!due! to!a!significant!GIVENNESS!effect!except!Fp1/2!(F7/8:!F(1,!15)!=! 6.66,!p!<!0.05;!
T7/8:!F(1,!15)!=!9.95,!p!<!0.01;!P7/8:!F(1,!15)!=!13.16,!p!<!0.01;!O1/2:!F(1,!15)!=!11.10,!p!<!0.01).!The!effect!
of!WO!×!GIVENNESS!×!ANTERIORITY!was!marginal,!which!reflected!a!significant!GIVENNESS!effect!only!at!
OSV!(P7/8:! F(1,!15)!=!16.14,!p!<! 0.01;!O1/2:!F(1,! 15)!=!13.68,!p!<! 0.01)!and!a! significant!WO!effect! only!at!
the! new-given! condition!(P7/8:! F(1,! 15)! =! 6.20,! p!<! 0.05;! O1/2:! F(1,! 15)! =! 6.83,! p!<! 0.05).! These! results!
suggest!ONEWSGIVENV!showed!an!early!positivity!compared!to!OGIVENSNEWV!and!SNEWOGIVENV.!
In!500700!ms,!the!interaction!of!WO!×!GIVENNESS!×!ANTERIORITY!was!significant!at!the!lateral!and!
temporal!arrays!and!marginally!significant!at!the!midline!array.!Post!hoc!analyses!showed!a!significant!WO!
effect!only! at!the!new-given!condition! at!the!posterior! sites!(Pz:!F(1,! 15)! =!5.67,!p!<!0.05;! P3/4:!F(1,!15)!=!
5.26,! p!<! 0.05;! P7/8:! F(1,! 15)! =! 5.30,! p!<! 0.05;! O1/2:! F(1,! 15)! =! 7.19,! p!<! 0.05).! At! OSV,! the! effect! of!
GIVENNESS!was!significant!or!marginally!significant!at!the!posterior!sites!(Pz:!F(1,!15)!=!5.44,!p!<!0.05;!P3/4:!
F(1,!15)! =!5.62,!p!<! 0.05;!O1/2:!F(1,!15)!=!4.02,!p!=!0.06).! These!results!indicate!that! ONEWSGIVENV!showed!a!
posterior!positivity!compared!to!SNEWOGIVENV!and!OGIVENSNEWV.! !
In! sum,! a! robust! N400! reduction! was! observed! for! the! given! NPs!at! 300500! ms.! Importantly,!
ONEWSGIVENV!elicited!an!early!larger!positivity!than!SNEWOGIVENV,!whereas!OGIVENSNEWV!did!not!elicit!any!effect!
compared!to!SGIVENONEWV.! !
!
The*verb*
Figure!3!shows!the!grand!average!ERP!of!V!of!the!target!sentence.!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3!In!single-word!analyses,!the!ERP!of!the!baseline!time! window!was!analysed!to!ensure!that!ERP! difference!was!not!
induced!as!a!result!of!the!baseline!correction!procedure.!The!results!reveal!no!significant!main!effect!or!interaction!at!
the!baseline!time!window!when!the!ERPs!were!time-locked!to!the!onset!of!the!previous!region.! !
Word% Order %(WO ) 0.12 0.15 0.28 0.38 0.25 0.51 0.31 0.53 0.12
Givenness%(G) 25.48 *** 25.25 *** 9.25 ** 1.39 1.33 0.01 0.46 0.30 1.11
WO%%Anteriority%(Ant) 3.58 5.12 *3.19 +1.07 1.41 0.53 0.10 0.28 0.15
G%%Ant 0.65 1.07 3.61 *0.16 0.20 0.20 0.21 0.37 0.40
WO%%G 2.18 2.10 1.72 3.31 +2.95 1.80 1.21 1.18 </0.01
WO%%G%%Ant 2.00 3.23 +2.96 +3.61 +4.41 *5.37 *0.48 1.69 3.58 *
WO%%Hemisphere%(Hem) 0.01 0.90 1.64 2.33 0.02 0.20
G%%Hem 0.22 1.62 0.36 2.65 0.83 2.43
WO%%Ant%%Hem 0.08 1.14 0.30 1.33 0.13 0.19
G%%Ant%%Hem 0.37 1.88 0.22 1.87 0.17 1.60
WO%%G%%Hem 1.24 0.53 1.18 </0.01 1.10 1.11
WO%%G%%Ant%%Hem 0.02 0.57 0.07 0.17 0.35 0.76
300–500%ms
500–700%ms
700–900%ms
Tem po ra l
Midline
Lateral
Tem po ra l
Midline
Lateral
Tem po ra l
Midline
Lateral
!
!
14!
!
Figure!3.!Grand!average!ERPs!at!V.! !
!
Table!3.!Statistical!results!for!V.!
-7#
5#
Fp1#
-7#
5#
Fp2#
-7#
5#
F7#
-7#
5#
F3#
-7#
5#
Fz#
-7#
5#
F4#
-7#
5#
F8#
-7#
5#
T7#
-7#
5#
C3#
-7#
5#
Cz#
-7#
5#
C4#
-7#
5#
T8#
-7#
5#
P7#
-7#
5#
P3#
-7#
5#
Pz#
-7#
5#
P4#
-7#
5#
P8#
-7#
5#
O1#
-7#
5#
O2#
SNEWOGIVENVMr.Yoshida-NOM# #yesterday-GEN #night# #Mr.Kimura-ACC #forgave# #seem
SGIVENONEWVMr.Yoshida-NOM##yesterday-GEN #night# #Mr.Kimura-ACC #forgave# #seem
ONEWSGIVENVMr.Kimura-ACC# #yesterday-GEN #night #Mr.Yoshida-NOM##forgave# #seem
OGIVENSNEWVMr.Kimura-ACC##yesterday-GEN #night #Mr.Yoshida-NOM# #forgave# #seem
##############New-Given:####OSV##minus###SOV#############################################Given-New:####OSV###minus###SOV#
#####300–500#ms#######500–700#ms###########700–900#ms###########300–500#ms#########500–700#ms##########700–900#ms#
2.0
−2.0
########SOV:####New-Given##minus###Given-New###################################OSV:####New-Given##minus###Given-New
#####300–500#ms#######500–700#ms###########700–900#ms###########300–500#ms#########500–700#ms##########700–900#ms#
2.0
−2.0
!
!
15!
!
Note:!+:!p!<!.10,!*:!p!<!.05,!**:!p!<!.01,!***:!p!<!.005!
!
In!300500!ms,!a!significant!main!effect!of!GIVENNESS!was!observed!in!the!midline!and!lateral!arrays,!
showing!that!the!new-given!order!enhanced! an!N400!amplitude!compared! to!the!given-new!order!(Table!
3).!GIVENNESS!interacted! with! ANTERIORITY!in! all! arrays,! reflecting! that!the!negativity!for!the! new-given!
conditions!was!distributed!at!the! fronto-central!sites!(Fz:! F(1,! 15)!=!9.90,!p!<!0.01;! Cz:$ F(1,!15)!=!7.40,!p!<!
0.05;!F3/4:!F(1,!15)!=!9.04,!p!<!0.01;!C3/4:!F(1,!15)!=!4.46,!p!<!0.05;!F7/8:!F(1,!15)!=!7.08,!p!<!0.05;!T7/8:!F(1,!
15)!=!6.91,!p!<!0.05).! !
The! interaction! of! GIVENNESS!×!ANTERIORITY!was! significant! at! the! lateral! array! and! marginally!
significant! at! the! midline! array! at!the! 500700!time-window,! due! to! a! GIVENNESS!effect! at! the!
fronto-central!sites!(Fz:!F(1,!15)!=!3.76,!p!=!0.07;!Cz:!F(1,!15)!=!6.07,!p!<!0.05;!F3/4:!F(1,!15)!=!3.91,!p!=!0.06).!
In!700900!ms,!the!main!effect!of!WO!was!marginally!significant,!showing!that!OSV!elicited!a!positivity!
compared! to! SOV.! For! the! same! reason,! the! interaction! of! WO! and! ANTERIORITY!was! significant! at! the!
lateral! array,! with!a! significant! effect! at! P3/4! and! a! marginally!significant!effect!at!C3/4!(P3/4:!F(1,! 15)! =!
7.67,!p!<!0.05;!C3/4:!F(1,!15)!=!4.06,!p!=!0.06).!WO!did!not!interact!with!GIVENNESS!in!any!array.!However,!
the!planned!comparison!between!SOV!and!OSV!conditions! showed!a!positivity!in!the!new-given!condition!
(Midline:!F(1,!15)! =!4.80,!p$ <!0.05;!Lateral:!F(1,!15)!=!6.03,!p$<!0.05;! Temporal:! Lateral:! F(1,!15)!=! 4.72,!p$<!
0.05),!but! not! in! the! given-new! condition!(Midline:! F(1,! 15)! =!0.41,!p$ >! 0.10;! Lateral:! F(1,! 15)! =!0.45,!p$ >!
0.10;!Temporal:!F(1,!15)!=!0.15,!p$>!0.10).! !
Overall,!the!new-given!conditions!(SNEWOGIVENV!and!ONEWSGIVENV)!elicited!a!larger!N400!effect!compared!
to! the! given-new! conditions! (SGIVENONEWV! and! OGIVENSNEWV).! ONEWSGIVENV! exhibited! a! posterior! positivity!
compared!to!SNEWOGIVENV!at!the!late!time-window.! !
!
4. Discussion*
The! present! ERP! study! aimed! to!elucidate!the! processing! difficulties!of!syntactic!complexity!and!an!
infelicitous! use! of! OSV.! The! result! showed! an! interaction! of! word! order! and! givenness!of! arguments.!
ONEWSGIVENV!elicited!SLAN!from!O!to!S!compared!to!SNEWOGIVENV.! Importantly,! however,!OGIVENSNEWV!did!not!
exhibit!SLAN!compared!to!SGIVENONEWV.!At!NP2,!ONEWSGIVENV! elicited!a!significant!P600! effect!compared!to!
SNEWOGIVENV.!OGIVENSNEWV,!on! the! other! hand,! did! not! show! a! P600!effect!compared!to!SGIVENONEWV.!These!
results!are!discussed!in!the!following!sections.! !
Word% Order %(WO ) 0.99 0.97 0.69 0.96 1.11 0.65 3.77 +4.45 +3.40 +
Givenness%(G) 6.16 *4.80 *2.98 4.04 +2.96 2.13 2.40 1.15 1.50
WO%%Anteriority%(Ant) 0.45 0.80 0.20 1.00 2.62 0.84 0.99 4.06 *1.55
G%%Ant 6.08 *6.36 ** 3.19 *3.50 +4.12 *0.92 4.95 *8.52 ** 2.27
WO%%G 0.05 0.02 </0.01 0.11 0.02 </0.01 1.65 1.29 1.04
WO%%G%%Ant 1.00 0.43 0.02 0.75 0.02 0.21 0.85 0.27 0.15
WO%%Hemisphere%(Hem) </0.01 0.93 0.09 1.05 0.88 0.80
G%%Hem 0.81 0.91 0.02 0.68 0.10 0.17
WO%%Ant%%Hem 1.19 0.53 1.38 0.68 1.07 1.36
G%%Ant%%Hem 0.04 2.70 *0.07 1.87 0.03 1.50
WO%%G%%Hem 0.13 1.09 1.29 </0.01 0.59 </0.01
WO%%G%%Ant%%Hem 0.19 1.67 0.21 1.36 0.05 1.12
300–500%ms
500–700%ms
700–900%ms
Tem po ra l
Midline
Lateral
Tem po ra l
Midline
Lateral
Tem po ra l
Midline
Lateral
!
!
16!
!
4.1. SLAN*effect*
ONEWSGIVENV! showed! a! SLAN!effect!from! O! to! S,! in! keeping!with! the! results! of! Ueno! and!Kluender!
(2003),! which! presented! OSV! without!context.! However,! OGIVENSNEWV! did! not! show! a! comparable! SLAN!
effect.!One!may!view!this!difference!between!ONEWSGIVENV!and!OGIVENSNEWV!as!attributable!to!the!number!of!
referents!presented!to!participants!by!the!point!of!the!NP1.!In!the! new-given! order,!the!participants!read!
two!NPs!(i.e.!an!NP! in!the!context!and! an! NP1)!by!the!NP1.!In!contrast,!only! an!NP!was!presented!at! this!
position!in!the!given-new!order.!If!this!difference!affects!SLAN’s! amplitude,!then!we!expect!only!the!main!
effect!of!GIVENNESS.!This!prediction!cannot!explain!an!interaction!between!WO!and!GIVENNESS.!
The!question!is!why!the! processing!reflected!by!the!SLAN!was!costly!in!the!infelicitous!but!not!in!the!
felicitous! context.! Previous! studies! on! long-distance! dependency!formation!have! argued! that!the! SLAN!
effect!reflects!a!working!memory!load!of!actively!storing! a! filler,!such! as!a!head!noun!of! a! relative! clause!
and!a!fronted!O!(Hagiwara!et!al.,!2007;!King!&! Kutas,!1995;!Kluender!&!Kutas,' 1993;'Matzke' et' al.,' 2002;'
Müller&et& al.,& 1997;&Phillips& et&al.,&2005).! If! we!maintain! this! functional! interpretatio n,! SLAN’s! lack! in! the!
felicitous! context! implies!that! a! discourse! representation! ameliorates! the!cost! of! holding! a! filler!in! the!
working!memory!in!some!way.!However,!this!interpretation!is!challenged!when!we!examine!more!carefully!
SLAN’s! functional!significance.! SLAN!has! also! been! observed! for! lexico-semantically! vacuous! displaced!
constituents,! such! as! “wer”! (who-ACC)!in! Germa n! (Thomas$ asks$ himself,$ who-ACC$on$ Tuesday$ afternoon$
after$the$accident$ the$ doctor$ ___$ called$has,! Fiebach!et!al.,!2002).!Kluender!and!Kutas!(1993)! observed! a!
larger!SLAN!effect!for!a!matrix!wh-question!(Who$have$you!forgotten...!?)!than!a!yes-no!question!(Have$you$
forgotten...?),! although! they! did! not! conduct! a! cumulative! analysis.! Furthermore,! Wagers! and!Phillips!
(2009;! 2014)! argued!that! the! parser! actively! maintains! a! syntactic! category! of! a! filler! (e.g.!NP)!until!
encountering! a! gap,! while!it! releases! semantically!detailed!information! from! the! working! memory! and!
reactivates! it! after! receiving! direct! evidence! for! the! location! of! a!gap.! Given! these! findings,! a!
straightforward! interpretation! of! what! SLAN!reflects! is! the! active! maintenance! of! a! filler’s! syntactic!
category!rather!than!lexico-semantic!information.!In!this! interpretation,! it!is!not! clear!how!discourse-level!
information!alleviates! the!memory!cost!of! holding!a!filler’s!syntactic!category!unless!a!linking!hypothesis!
exists.!
Alternatively,!SLAN!may!reflect!the!process!of!manipulating!a!discourse!representation!in!memory.!In!
ONEWSGIVENV,!the!processing!cost!should!increase!when!encountering!a! discourse-new! O! because!it!has!no!
referent! in! the! preceding! context,! even! though!scrambling!presupposes! a! shared! referent!in! a! discourse!
that! directly! or! implicitly! refers! to! an! O.! Accordingly,! participants!had!to! accommodate! an!unsatisfied!
presupposition!to!build!a!coherent! discourse! representation,!probably! by! inventing!an!additional!implicit!
context!that!linked!the!context!and!the!target!sentence.!This!process!may!be!reflected!by!a!SLAN!observed!
in!ONEWSGIVENV.!The!SLAN!effect!could!be!similar!to!the!S(L)AN!effect!elicited!by!definite!NPs!and!pronoun!in!
the!context!with!two!salient!referents,!because!the!use!of!these!NPs!also!presupposes!a!salient!referent!to!
!
!
17!
which!a!speaker!intends!to!refer!(“David$had$asked$the$two$girls$to$clean$up$ their$room$before$lunchtime.$
But$one$of$the$girls$had$stayed$in$bed$all$morning,$and$the$other$had$been$on$the$phone$all$the$time.$David$
told$the$girl...,!Nieuwland!&!Van!Berkum,!2006;!Van!Berkum,!2004;!Van!Berkum,!Brown,!&!Hagoort,!1999;!
van! Berkum! et! al.2003;! Van! Berkum,! Zwitserlood,! Bastiaansen,! Brown,! &! Hagoort,! 2004;! Van!Berkum,!
Koornneef,!Otten,!&!Nieuwland,!2007).4!In!OGIVENSNEWV,!on!the!other!hand,!the!manipulating!process!is!not!
necessary!because!the! discourse! has! already! introduced!a!referent!that!refers!to!an! O!of! OSV,! leading!to!
SLAN’s!lack!in!the!felicitous!context.! !
To! date,! the! extent! to! which! this! view! can! account! for! previous! findings! of! SLAN! effects!remains!
unclear.!To!our!knowledge,!no!ERP!experiment!examines!the!interaction!of!the!processing!of!post-nominal!
relative! clauses! by! context.! However,! given! that! a! behavioural! study!showed! that! their! processing!was!
largely!alleviated!by!the!felicitous!context!(Roland,!Mauner,!O’Meara,!&!Yun,!2012),!SLAN!could!decrease!in!
amplitude!due! to!a!felicitous!context.!Another!observation!related!to!the! present!view!is!an!LAN! effect!in!
response! to! the! matrix! question! compared!to! the! yes-no! question! (Kluender! &! Kutas,! 1993).! Since!
wh-questions,!such!as!What$did$Mary$read?”,!presuppose!the!existence!of!an!entity!that!Mary!read!(e.g.!
Postal,!1971;!Karttunen!&!Peters,!1976),!a! wh-question!introduced! without!context! requires! receivers! to!
accommodate!this!presupposition.! Accordingly,!the!LAN!effect!in!response!to!a!wh-question!(Kluender!&!
Kutas,!1993)!could!be!accounted!for!in!terms!of!contextual!factors.!However,!more!empirical!data!needs!to!
be!accumulated!to!test!this!view.!
!
4.2. P600*effect*at*the*NP2* *
At!NP2,!ONEWSGIVENV!elicited!a!larger!posterior!positivity!compared!to!SNEWOGIVEN,!whereas!no!indication!
exists! of!a! positivity! in! response! to! OGIVENSNEWV.! The! former! result!is! consistent! with! previous! studies!on!
scrambling!in!Japanese!(Hagiwara! et!al.,!2007;!Koso!et!al.,!2007;!Ueno!&!Kluender,!2003),!as!well!as!those!
on!filler-gap! dependency! in! other! languages! (Fiebach! et! al.,!2001;!2005;!Kaan! et! al.,! 2000;! Phillips! et! al.,!
2005;!Rösler!et!al.,! 1998;! Yasunaga! et! al.,!2015;!Yano! et! al.,! 2017a,!2017b).! The! positivity! for! ONEWSGIVENV!
began!to!diverge!from!SNEWOGIVENV!earlier!than!typical!P600!effects.!This!early!peak!latency!may!be!due!to!
the!priming!effect.!When!comparing!ONEWSGIVENV! and! SNEWOGIVENV,! the! critical!noun! was! a!discourse-given!
NP.!Accordingly,! the! repetition! priming!facilitated!lexico-semantic!processing!and! the! subsequent! process!
started! earlier.! This! possibility! was!supported!by! the! observation! that! the! peak! latency! of! P600! was!
significantly!earlier!for!the!given!NPs!than!the!new!NPs!(Midline:!F!(1,!15)!=!5.24,!p!<!0.05;!Lateral:!F!(1,!15)!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4!An! important! caveat! is! that! Nieuwland! et! al.! (2007)! found! an! increased! activation! for! a! referentially!
ambiguous!pronoun!at! the! medial!prefrontal!region,!which! is!different!from!the!left!inferior!frontal!gyrus!
that!activates!during!the!processing!of! non-canonical! word!orders!(Grewe!et!al.,! 2007;!Kinno!et!al.,! 2008;!
Kim!et!al.,!2009).!
!
!
18!
=! 6.01,! p!<! 0.05;! Temporal:! F$ (1,! 15)! =! 2.36,! p!=! 0.14).5!Importantly,! OGIVENSNEWV! did! not! show! a! larger!
positivity!even!in!the!typical!P600!time-window.!This!result!of!the!WO!by!context!interaction!is!consistent!
with!the!behavioural!result!by!Koizumi!and!Imamura!(2016).!
First,! it!is! less! likely! that! the!P600! reflects!the!revision!cost! of! a! syntactic! structure.! Because!an!
accusative!case!was!attached!to!the!displaced!O!of!experimental!sentences,!no!S-O!ambiguity!existed!in!the!
present! experiment.! Furthermore,! SLAN’s! presence! for! OSV! in! the!infe licitous! context! suggests! that! the!
parser!noticed!a!scrambled! structure! while!processing!an! adverbial!phrase!under!either!interpretation!of!
SLAN!discussed!above.!Thus,!the!P600!is!not!the!same!as!the!P600!that!has!been!observed!for!garden-path!
sentences!(Kaan!&!Swaab,!2003a,!2003b).!
Second,!Kaan!et!al.!(2000)!proposed!that!P600!reflects!a!syntactic!integration!difficulty.!If!we!hold!this!
view,! the! lack! of! the! P600! effect! suggests! the! facilitated! syntactic! integration! of! a! filler! and! its! gap.!
However,!a! question! arises!as! to!why!the!discourse!givenness!of!an!O!reduces!a!P600! effect!at! the! NP2.!
One!possibility!is!that!the!syntactic!integration!difficulty!might!correlate!with!memory!cost,!because!several!
studies!failed!to! observe! a!P600!effect!for!scrambled!sentences!in!cases!in!which!the!distance!between! a!
filler!and!its!gap!is!relatively!short.!For!instance,!Hagiwara!et!al.!(2007)!compared!the!processing!of!middle!
scrambling!with!that!of!long!scrambling,!using!the!sentences!in!(8)!below.!They!found!that!long!scrambling!
elicited!a!P600!effect!compared!to! the! canonical! condition,!whereas!middle!scrambling!did!not!(see!also!
Koizumi!and!Yasunaga,!2016).!Presumably,!when!the!parser!consumes!less!memory!cost,!it!needs!the!less!
syntactic!integration!cost.! In!the!present!case,!since!a!discourse-given! O!of!OSV!did!not!impose!a!memory!
pressure!on!the!parser,!the!parser!can!integrate!the!filler!with!the!gap!relatively!easily.!On!the!other!hand,!
a!discourse-new!O!was!difficult!to!integrate!with! the!gap!because!it!incurred!a!memory!cost!evidenced!by!
SLAN.!However,!this!conjecture!is! not!consistent!with!the!result!of! Fiebach!et!al.! (2002)!and!Phillips!et!al.!
(2005),!who!reported!a!P600!effect,!irrespective!of!the!length!between!a!filler!and!a!gap.!
!
(8)!
a.!Canonical!condition:!
!
Kaiken-de!
shacho-wa!
hisho-ga!
bengoshi-o!
!
sagashiteiru-to!
itta.!
!
meeting-at!
president-TOP!
secretary-NOM!
lawyer-ACC!
!
was.looking.for-C!
said.!
!
“At!the!meeting,!the!president!said!that!the!secretary!was!looking!for!the!lawyer.”!
!
b.!Middle-scrambled!condition:!
!
Kaiken-de!
shacho-wa!
bengoshi-oi!
hisho-ga!
ti! !
sagashiteiru-to!
itta.!
!
meeting-at!
president-TOP!
lawyer-ACC!
secretary-NOM!
!
was.looking.for-C!
said.!
!
c.!Long-scrambled!condition:!
!
Kaiken-de!
bengoshi-oi!
shacho-wa!
hisho-ga!
ti!
sagashiteiru-to!
itta.!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5!The!mean!peak!latency!of!the!positivity!was!calculated!for!each!channel!with!the!ERP!Measurement!Tool!of!ERPLAB!
(Lopez-Calderon!&!Luck,!2014)!by!finding!a!latency!in!which!the!greatest!positivity!was!observed!between!300!to!900!
ms!of!NP2.!The!statistical!analyses!were!conducted!in!the!same!way!as!reported!in!Section!3.5.! !
!
!
19!
!
meeting-at!
lawyer-ACC!
president-TOP!
secretary-NOM!
!
was.looking.for!
said.!
!
Alternatively,! the!P600!may! reflect!a! conflict! resolution! of! different!information! types.! When!
scrambled!sentences!were!not!presented!with!a!supportive!context,!the!parser!should!have!faced!a!conflict!
between!syntactic!and! information! structures.! That! is,! syntactic! information! signals!that!the! parser! must!
reconstruct! a! filler! at! the! derived!position!into! the! original! position! to!receive!a!thematic!role.!However,!
the! information! structure! does! not! validate!that! the! filler!is! located! at! the!topic!position!because!
scrambling!yields! an! ill-motivated!new-given! order.! An! increasing! number! of! recent! ERP! studies! have!
argued! that! the! P600! is! not! a! manifestation! of! pure! syntactic! processing! difficulty! (e.g.!
Bornkessel-Schlesewsky!&!Schlesewsky,!2008;!Brouwer,!Crocker,!Venhuizen,!&!Hoeks,!2016;!Brouwer,!Fitz,!
&!Hoeks,!2012;!Kuperberg,!2007;!Vissers,!Chwilla,!&!Kolk,!2006).!Instead,!it!indexes!a!process!of!integrating!
several!types! of!information,!such!as! syntax! and!semantics.!Thus,! a!P600!likely!reflects!the!resolution!of! a!
conflict! between! syntactic! structure! and! information! structure! encoded! by! OSV.!However,! the! issue! of!
whether!the! same! process! underlies!a!P600!effect!in!other!languages!is!not!clear,! since,! for!example,!the!
pre-gap! region! of!relative!clauses!in! English! is! a! verb,! where!different! types! of! processes!should! also! be!
performed,!as!discussed!below.!
!
4.3. P600*effect*at*the*V*
At!the!V,!a!larger!P600!effect!was!observed!for!OSV!compared!to!SOV!in!the!new-given!condition.!The!
P600! at! the! V! has! been! observed! in! previous! studies! (Hagiwara! et! al.,! 2007;! Weckerly! &! Kutas,! 1999).!
Phillips! et! al.! (2005)! proposed! that! the! P600! at! the! V! reflects! the$ syntactic$ and$ semantic$ operations$
involved$ in$ confirming$ the$ compatibility$ of$ the$ filler$ and$ the$ verb$ for$ thematic$ role$ assignment,$ and$
compositionally$interpreting$the$verb$and$its$arguments”!(Phillips!et!al.,!2005,!p.!425).!Because!this!process!
should! be! necessary!at! the! V! of!the! OSV!in! Japanese,!it! explains! a!P600! effect! for! OSV! in! the! new-given!
context.!However,!it!remains!unclear!why!OSV!in!the!given-new!context!did!not!elicit!a!similar!P600!at!V.! !
The!P600!effect!in!the!present!experiment!contradicts!with!the!previous!ERP!experiment!of! Japanese!
scrambling!that!reported! a!larger! anterior! negativity!for! OSV!than!SOV!at! the!V!(Ueno!&!Kluender,!2003).!
However,!this!AN!effect!reflects!a!wrap-up!process!that!has!often!reported!in!ERP!experiments!(Friederici!&!
Frisch,!2000;!Osterhout,!1997).!In!the!present!study,!an!auxiliary!verb!was!placed!at!the!sentence’s!end!to!
avoid!the!wrap-up!negativity!at!the!V.!As!expected,!the!wrap-up!negativity!was!observed!at!the!sentence’s!
final!region,!although!no!significant!effect!existed!between!conditions.!
!
5. Conclusion*
The!present!study!explored!the!interaction!of!syntactic!complexity!of!scrambling!and!discourse!factors!
during!Japanese!sentence!comprehension.!The!result!of!the!ERP!experiment!clearly!demonstrated!that!the!
felicitous! use! of! scrambling! alleviated!filler-gap! dependency! formation,! as!evidenced! by! a! significant!
!
!
20!
reduction! of! SLAN!and! P600! effects.!This! finding!suggests! that! the! processing! difficulty!that! has! been!
observed!for!non-canonical!word!orders!is!largely!associated!with!discourse!factors,!such!as!the!alignment!
of! discourse-old! and! discourse-new! NPs.!Nevertheless,! further! investigation! is! necessary! to! clarify!the!
functional!significance!of!SLAN!and!P600.!
!
Acknowledgements*
We!thank!anonymous!reviewers!and!the!editor!for!their!insightful!comments.!We!are!also!grateful!to!
Mineharu!Nakayama,!Ellen!Lau,!Hajime! Ono,!and!Shin! Fukuda! for!their!helpful!comments.!This! study!was!
supported!by!JSPS!KAKENHI!(#15H02603,!PI:! Masatoshi!Koizumi),!a! Grant-in-Aid!for!JSPS!Research!Fellows!
(#13J04854,!PI:!Masataka!Yano)!and!Kyushu!University!Wakaba!Project!(#30203,!PI:!Masataka!Yano).!
!
Disclosure*statement*
!No!potential!conflict!of!interest!was!reported!by!the!authors!
!
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... "The mouse followed the hare and birds were singing." Yano and Koizumi (2018) also examined the effect of context on the processing of the non-basic OSV order in Japanese (an SOV language). The result of their ERP experiment showed a larger SLAN and P600 effect for OSV in the non-supportive context but did not show any ERP effect in the supportive context in comparison to the basic SOV. ...
... As a third hypothesis, the processing cost of non-basic sentences is likely due to the lack of supportive context, as demonstrated by Kaiser and Trueswell (2004) and Yano and Koizumi (2018). If this hypothesis is correct, SVO would be more difficult to process than VOS in the non-supportive context (Experiment 1). ...
... Thus, under the discourse hypothesis, the P600 likely reflects the resolution of a conflict between syntactic structure and information structure of SVO. This interpretation is also consistent with the result of Yano and Koizumi (2018), who observed a P600 in the non-basic OSV in Japanese when it was used within the infelicitous context but not within the felicitous context. If discourse factors affect a P600 in the processing of filler-gap dependency, the traditional functional interpretation of P600 as an index of syntactic integration difficulty (Kaan et al. 2000) needs to be clarified in future work. ...
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In many languages with subject-before-object as a syntactically basic word order, transitive sentences in which the subject precedes the object have been reported to have a processing advantage over those in which the subject follows the object in sentence comprehension. Three sources can be considered to account for this advantage, namely, syntactic complexity (filler-gap dependency), conceptual accessibility (the order of thematic roles), and pragmatic requirement. To examine the effect of these factors on the processing of simple transitive sentences, the present study conducted two event-related potential experiments in Seediq, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan, by manipulating word orders (basic VOS vs. non-basic SVO), the order of thematic roles (actor vs. goal voice), and discourse factors (presence/absence of visual context). The results showed that, compared to VOS, SVO incurred a greater processing load (reflected by a P600) when there was no supportive context, irrespective of voice alternation; however, SVO did not incur a greater processing load when there was supportive context and the discourse requirement was satisfied. We interpreted these results as evidence that the processing difficulty of the non-basic word order in Seediq is associated with a discourse-level processing difficulty.
... A straightforward interpretation under this view would be that it reflects the memory process of keeping syntactic information active. However, Yano and Koizumi (2018) recently challenged this idea based on their observation of an interaction between filler-gap dependency and discourse, as explained in the next section. ...
... Building on these observations, Yano and Koizumi (2018) conducted an ERP experiment similar to Kaiser and Trueswell's (2004) experiment. They manipulated the context and word orders in Japanese, as given in (5) and (6). ...
... The interpretation of Yano and Koizumi's (2018) experiment requires a caveat (Yano, 2019). It is known that a topic can attain a patient/theme interpretation without forming a filler-gap dependency, as evidenced by the acceptability of (7) in which a putative filler, "sono-ewa", crosses a relative clause island (Kuno, 1987). ...
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Sentences with filler-gap dependency are more difficult to process than those without, as reflected by event-related brain potentials (ERPs) such as sustained left anterior negativity (SLAN). The cognitive processes underlying SLAN may support associating a filler with a temporally distant gap in syntactic representation. Alternatively, processing filler-gap dependencies in the absence of a supportive context involves additional discourse processing. The present study conducted an ERP experiment that manipulated syntactic complexity (subject–object–verb [SOV] and object–subject–verb [OSV]) and discourse (the supportive and non-supportive context) in Japanese. The result showed a SLAN in OSV relative to SOV in the non-supportive but not the supportive context, which suggests that the difficulty involved in processing OSV in Japanese is largely due to a pragmatic factor. The present study contributes to a better understanding of how the language-processing system builds long-distance dependency by interacting with the memory system. [Open Access]
... In spite of these well-established observations, Yano and Koizumi (2018) reported that the SLAN and the P600 do not appear in scrambled OSV sentences in Japanese when the fronted O refers to discourse-old information. They manipulated word order (SOV vs. OSV) and givenness (discourse-new/discourse-old), as presented in (16) and (17). ...
... However, Tsuchiya, Yoshimura, and Nakayama (2015) reported that native Japanese speakers preferred the use of referential nouns (e.g., definite NPs) to pronouns in the production task, unlike in English, in which pronouns are preferred to refer to a discourse-old referent. Hence, the repeated use of proper names is not problematic in Yano and Koizumi's (2018) study. ...
... As one of the possible explanations, Yano and Koizumi (2018) proposed that the P600 does not reflect a syntactic integration difficulty, which conflicts with Kaan et al.'s (2000) proposal. Rather, P600 may reflect the cost of the conflict resolution between the syntactic information that the discourse-new O is fronted to the sentence-initial position and the pragmatic information that O-fronting presupposes the existence of a shared referent in a discourse that directly or implicitly refers to an O (Kuno 1987;Imamura 2014). ...
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The present study tested whether the D-linked object moves from its thematic position over the subject or it originates where it appears in non-canonical sentences in Japanese. To this aim, we conducted acceptability judgment experiments that employed island effects as a diagnosis of movement and assessed whether the D-linking status of an extracted object of non-canonical OSV sentences escaped island effects. The results revealed that D-linking did not improve an acceptability of island violations, and therefore, a D-linked object of OSV does have a status of a moved constituent. The present result contributes to an understanding of a relationship between syntactic representation and processing of filler-gap dependencies. According to recent event-related brain potential (ERP) studies, non-canonical sentences with a filler-gap dependency elicits a P600 effect when there is no felicitous context, but they do not reveal any effect when the filler is discourse-old information. The present result is inconsistent with the interpretation that the D-linked filler does not have a status of a moved constituent, thereby resulting in no filler-gap dependency formation in Japanese sentence comprehension. Instead, the present result is consistent with the view that the P600 effect is not a neural cost of the reconstruction but is elicited by other cognitive processes, such as the resolution of the unsatisfied presupposition encoded by scrambling.
... Aside from the object scrambling, the positive shift at the NP1 in object-initial sentences was interpreted as the resolution of dependency introduced by an accusative-first argument. Another study on Japanese [17] investigated how context usage influences processing of object-first structures. They observed that object-first structures elicited a sustained LAN at NP1 and P600 at NP2 when the NP1 was new and not provided in the context. ...
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... Some of the difficulties thought to be associated with scrambling can be explained in part by limitations in working memory or computational resources (Gibson, 1998), the increased syntactic complexity of the scrambling operation (Hawkins, 2004), expectation of constituents (Levy, 2008) and discourse contexts (Kaiser & Trueswell, 2004;Yano & Koizumi, 2018). Discourse and frequency effects have been found to modulate the overall scrambling effect such that they can attenuate the processing difficulty (Imamura et al., 2016). ...
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... These observations suggest that there is a universal tendency to place a salient element, such as an agent noun, before a less salient element. Similar ideas based on some notions related to human cognitive features and/or discourse features 1 We should also note that Yano and Koizumi (2018) and Yano, Niikuni, Ono, Sato, Tang, and Koizumi (2019) argue that discourse context is yet another factor for the increased processing cost of the noncanonical word orders, demonstrating that the processing cost for the non-canonical word order decreases when the sentence is placed in a supportive discourse context for such a word order. See also Kaiser and Trueswell (2004) for the effect of discourse factors. ...
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