Making predictions from speech with repairs: Evidence from eye movements.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When listeners hear a spoken utterance, they are able to predict upcoming information on the basis of what they have already heard. But what happens when the speaker changes his or her mind mid-utterance? The present paper investigates the immediate effects of repairs on listeners' linguistic predictions. Participants listened to sentences like the boy will eat/move the cake while viewing scenes depicting the agent, the theme, and distractor objects (which were not edible). Over 25% of items included conjoined verbs (eat and move) and 25% included repairs (eat- uh, move). Participants were sensitive to repairs: where eat was overridden by move, fixations on the theme patterned with the plain move condition, but where there was a conjunct, fixations patterned with eat. However, once the theme had been heard, there were more fixations to the cake in all conditions including eat, showing that the first verb maintained an influence on prediction, even following a repair. The results are compatible with the view that prediction during comprehension is updated incrementally, but not completely, as the linguistic input unfolds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-727
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010

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