Does structural priming occur in ordinary conversation?

A substantial body of empirical work suggests people have a reliable tendency to match, amongst other things, their conversational partner’s body movements, speech style, and patterns of language use. Recently, a more specific ‘structural priming’ version of this claim has gained prominence. Structural priming occurs when people’s processing of a particular linguistic structure is facilitated by prior exposure to the same structure. Much of the psycholinguistic evidence for these effects comes from experimental studies of single individuals processing a sequence of sentences and it is claimed that it is part of an automatic, resource-free priming mechanism that helps to underpin all successful human interaction. We present evidence from a corpus analysis of ordinary conversation which suggests that this claim is incorrect.
Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Book title:
Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2010
Tübingen, Germany
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