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The Impact of Co-Occurrence and Context on the Prediction of Long-Distance Separable Prefixes

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journal contribution
posted on 09.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Daniel Walter, Brian MacwhinneyBrian Macwhinney

Current inquiry into language processing has placed an increased focus on people’s predictive capabilities in anticipating upcoming verbal elements. This study contributes to the literature by investigating the predictability of German verb prefixes, when they occur in sentence final position, often after a great deal of intervening material. Forty-nine L1 speakers of German were given a cloze-task to measure their ability to predict missing sentence final separable prefixes from a corpus of sentences taken from a German newspaper. The results show that German readers are able to accurately predict sentence-final prefixes and that accuracy is strongly correlated to cue strength between particular prefix-verb pairs, as well as the effect of other contextual clues. The discussion links this work to the implications for evolutionary advantages of prediction via alignment.


Publisher Statement

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version is available at Walter, D. R., & Macwhinney, B. (2018). The impact of co-occurrence and context on the prediction of long-distance separable prefixes. Language & Communication, 58, 24-33.