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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2021;26(4): 964-974.
Published online December 31, 2021.
doi: https://doi.org/10.12963/csd.21861
An Eye-Tracking Study on the Word Order Preference and the Effect of Phrasal Length in Korean
Yunju Nama , Hyenyung Chungb , and Youngjoo Kimc
aKU Communication Research Institute, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
bDepartment of Cultural contents & Communication, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
cDepartment of Korean Language, Kyunghee University, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Corresponding Author: Youngjoo Kim ,Tel: +82-31-201-2284, Fax: +82-31-204-8112, Email: yjkims@khu.ac.kr
Received October 5, 2021  Revised: November 1, 2021   Accepted November 3, 2021
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ABSTRACT
Objectives
Although Korean is a typical free word order language, when the same logical meaning is realized in several sentences with different word order, preference for the word order and the processibility of that sentence may vary. In this study, we investigated the word order preference on the instrumental adjunct and argument (direct object) of Korean when they were both short and when one of the two components was lengthened in the sentence using Eye-tracking technology. Additionally, the underlying cognitive mechanisms of the word order preference were discussed.
Methods
Thirty-five college students were asked to read 24 sentences consisting of a condition in which both the adjunct and argument were short and one of them was lengthened, and their gaze was tracked.
Results
When both components were short, the preferred word order was not confirmed. However, when one of the two components was lengthened, the canonical word order effect of putting the instrumental adjunct before the object argument and the LbS (Long before Short) effect of placing the lengthened components before the short ones were confirmed.
Conclusion
The word order preference seems to reflect the strategy of keeping essential components close to the verb and minimizing the efficiency of integrated processing between critical components such as the head of an argument. However, the preference may vary depending on the burden of sentence processing or the level of the cognitive capacity of the processor. The timing at which word order preference is reflected may also vary depending on how strong the effect of the canonical order between two components is.
Keywords: Eye-movement tracking | Instrumental adjunct | Korean | Long before short preference | Word order preference
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