The agent and patient characters were thus either primed or unprimed. The neutral condition served as a baseline to assess the overall likelihood of speakers using
active and passive syntax to describe the target transitive events. Timecourse analyses assessed differences and changes in the formulation of active descriptions for the different types of events and after the three types of primes. On the hypothesis that the ease of character naming determines the extent to which speakers prioritize encoding of a single character at the outset of formulation, speakers should be more likely to engage in linearly incremental than hierarchically incremental planning when preparing sentences that begin with an accessible character (a highly-codable character or a primed character); event codability should have the opposite effect on formulation. CCI-779 purchase Fifty-four native speakers of Dutch (mostly university students; 48 female) from the Nijmegen
area participated for payment. Four participants were replaced because they produced very few scorable responses on target trials. There were four types of trials: target trials, prime trials, filler trials, and word trials. On target trials, speakers saw pictures of transitive OSI-744 chemical structure events (see Appendix A; pictures were adapted from Bock, 1986b, and from images available in the Microsoft clipart database). There were 20 items with animate agents BCKDHA (13 items with human agent and 7 with animal agents), and 10 with inanimate agents. To increase production of passive sentences, 23 items had animate patients (20 items had human patients, 3 had animal patients) and 7 had inanimate patients. 3 Pictures shown on prime trials were one-character events. They were accompanied by a recorded intransitive description produced by a native Dutch speaker. The characters named in these sentences were semantically related
to the agent (e.g., wolf), the patient (e.g., salesman), or to neither character (e.g., umbrella) in the following target picture (in this case, a dog chasing a mailman). Semantic relatedness was verified with LSA norms (Latent Semantic Analysis; http://lsa.colorado.edu): across all events, agent primes had a stronger relationship to agents than patients (.37 vs. .09; t(28) = 6.20), and patient primes had a stronger relationship to patients than agents (.23 vs. .12; t(29) = 3.06). Neutral primes were not related to either character (.05 and .08 for the relationship to the agent and patient respectively). The remaining trials were unrelated to the prime and target pictures. On filler trials (n = 103), speakers saw pictures that could be described with a variety of structures (e.g., intransitive, dative, reflexive sentences). On 90 filler trials, speakers produced a description, and on 13 trials, they saw a picture and heard a recorded description.