Edited By Nekane Celayeta Gil, Felipe Jiménez Berrio and Alberto de Lucas Vicente
Entre la sintaxis y la semántica: el caso del CD en español
Abstract: Nowadays, different studies on the syntactic processing are proving the importance a language semantic level when it comes to build up the syntactic structure of a sentence. This supports a more interactionist view on the language processing, leaving aside the idea of diverse types of linguistic information (phonological, morphological, syntactic…) being processed separate and independently, as Chomsky once proposed. With the objective of keeping moving forward along these research lines and proving the existence of the already said interaction in languages beyond English, we have carried out a study on the Spanish direct object (DO) from a psycholinguistic perspective. This syntactic structure is idoneous for the study of an interaction between syntax and semantic, as it shows how certain semantic features are reflected on syntax as they require the “a” preposition before names which have the animacity feature. Bearing this in mind, we have used the technic of ocular movements register during the transitive sentences reading, in which we have controlled different factors that can influence on the appearance of the aforesaid preposition in the DO, such as the name’s definiteness or the verb’s aspectual features. Results show an interaction in the processing of both the syntactic and semantic information, leading to longer reading time periods in the incoherent conditions: when the DO is animated and lacks the “a” preposition or when the DO’s name is animated and it is unnecessarily preceded by such preposition. These longer reading time periods come along with a bigger number of...