A Norming Study of Plausibility in American English

Open Access
Deal, Timothy Edward
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Giuli Dussias, Thesis Supervisor
  • Paola Eulalia Dussias, Thesis Supervisor
  • Richard Alan Carlson, Honors Advisor
  • psycholingustics
  • norming study
  • shallow structure hypothesis
  • plausibility
  • verb bias
Sentence processing research has shown that monolingual speakers of English primarily make of use of syntactic information when interpreting sentences. However, there is reason to believe that bilingual speakers of English prefer to use semantic information when interpreting the same sentences. Researchers have posed the shallow structure hypothesis in order to put to test these differences in processing. One way to test the shallow structure hypothesis would be to replicate Garnsey, Pearlmutter, Myers, and Lotocky (1997) using proficient second language speakers of English. An ERP study would be employed in order to enhance timecourse research. Before conducting such a study, a norming study had to be conducted to determine whether the target nouns following a group of direct object bias and sentential complement bias verbs were considered to be plausible or implausible completions by native speakers of English. In this norming study 41 participants were presented with a series of sentence fragments. Then, they either indicated that the fragments were plausible or completed them to make them plausible.