Referential and visual cues to structural choice in visually situated sentence production

Andriy Myachykov*, Dominic Thompson, Simon Garrod, Christoph Scheepers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


We investigated how conceptually informative (referent preview) and conceptually uninformative (pointer to referent’s location) visual cues affect structural choice during production of English transitive sentences. Cueing the Agent or the Patient prior to presenting the target-event reliably predicted the likelihood of selecting this referent as the sentential Subject, triggering, correspondingly, the choice between active and passive voice. Importantly, there was no difference in the magnitude of the general Cueing effect between the informative and uninformative cueing conditions, suggesting that attentionally driven structural selection relies on a direct automatic mapping mechanism from attentional focus to the Subject’s position in a sentence. This mechanism is, therefore, independent of accessing conceptual, and possibly lexical, information about the cued referent provided by referent preview.
Original languageEnglish
Article number396
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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