Do Marked Topics Enhance Memory?

Hadar Netz, Zohar Eviatar, Ron Kuzar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined the effects of markedness, the deviation from the canonical Subject-Verb-Object structure in English, on the memory of listeners for the topic of the sentence. We used three marked topic constructions: Left-Dislocation, Object-Fronting, and Subject-Marking. Sentences with these structures were inserted as the 6th item in lists of 12 canonical sentences. in all sentences the topic was the name of a man. We measured recall of the critical name. The results revealed that topics of Left-Dislocated sentences were recalled more than topics of the other constructions, with topics of object-Fronting sentences recalled the least. We briefly discuss how sentence processing procedures might give rise to these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Language
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Japanese
  • intelligibility
  • personal narrative
  • pragmatics
  • repairs

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