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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Understanding what we read requires constructing a representation of each sentence’s syntactic structure and meaning. We are generally not consciously aware of the complex cognitive operations that underlie these processes. However, researchers have been able to learn a great deal about these operations by using methods such as eyetracking during reading and recording of Event-Related Potentials (ERPs). This chapter provides a broad overview of some of the main theoretical issues and empirical conclusions in this area, focusing on the following questions: How rapidly do we perform syntactic and semantic analysis in the course of reading? Do we construct more than one syntactic analysis at a time? Does syntactic analysis always precede semantic interpretation? What role does memory play in sentence processing? Finally, how do these sentence-level processes relate to the process of visual word recognition itself?

Keywords: sentence processing, parsing, semantic interpretation, eye movements, event-related potentials

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