How does syntactic priming experience support language development?

Katherine Messenger, Holly Branigan, Leone Buckle, Laura Lindsay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Syntactic priming effects are argued to reflect the mechanisms that underlie language acquisition. This chapter explores the predictions of key models for such learning via syntactic priming and discusses the extent to which behavioural evidence is consistent with these predictions. Specifically, the chapter examines whether the timecourse of priming effects in research with children reflects lasting effects of syntactic experiences, and what between-group and between-individual variation in priming effects, predicted by the error-based nature of the learning mechanism, might be expected. The chapter also considers whether learning via priming might be located in comprehension and – or production processes. The chapter finishes by making recommendations for how future research may build on existing findings to further test these models, including discussing methodological implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSyntactic Priming in Language Acquisition
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentations, mechanisms and applications
EditorsKatherine Messenger
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789027257376
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameTrends in Language Acquisition Research
ISSN (Print)1569-0644

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • implicit learning
  • long-term priming
  • mechanisms
  • prediction
  • timecourse
  • variation


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