Psycholinguistiek en taalstoornissen
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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A variety of factors bias toward the selection of one syntactic structure over another (e.g., actives vs. passives). These factors include such properties as the inherent animacy of elements and their definiteness and thematic roles. Such linguistically systematic variables are independent of truth conditions or plausibility, and they interact with discourse factors in the selection of sen-tence form. An important question in the analysis of linguistic capacity as it normally changes through life and as it is realized under conditions of pathology is how various groups exploit these factors in their language use. This would seemingly be essentially a question about the mechanisms of sentence production, however, these factors also play a role in sentence comprehension. Sentences such as a dog was chased by the cat, the cow was milked by the farmer,and the girl was kissed by the boy are anomalous, ill-formed as productions in isolation, and, in virtue of their ill-formedness, place a burden on the comprehension system when being understood. The goal of this paper is twofold: (a) to present linguistic and psycholinguistic data illustrating the importance of these variables, and (b) point to some data which are only now beginning to emerge from studies of impaired populations which indicate the necessity of studying these variables.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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