Shared syntactic representations in bilinguals: Evidence for the role of word-order repetition

Sarah Bernolet, Robert J Hartsuiker, Martin J Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Studies on syntactic priming strongly suggest that bilinguals can store a single integrated representation of constructions that are similar in both languages (e.g., Spanish and English passives; R. J. Hartsuiker, M. J. Pickering, & E. Veltkamp, 2004). However, they may store 2 separate representations of constructions that involve different word orders (e.g., German and English passives; H. Loebell & K. Bock, 2003). In 5 experiments, the authors investigated within--and between--languages priming of Dutch, English, and German relative clauses. The authors found priming within Dutch (Experiment 1) and within English as a 2nd language (Experiments 2 and 4). An important finding is that priming occurred from Dutch to German (Experiment 5), which both have verb-final relative clauses; but it did not occur between Dutch and English (Experiments 3 and 4), which differ in relative-clause word order. The results suggest that word-order repetition is needed for the construction of integrated syntactic representations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-49
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Color Perception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Multilingualism
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Reading
  • Speech Perception
  • Verbal Behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'Shared syntactic representations in bilinguals: Evidence for the role of word-order repetition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this