The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22, No. 0, pp.70-85
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 18 Dec 2021 Revised 16 Feb 2022 Accepted 27 Feb 2022

Predictive Sentence Processing: Evidence from Passive Relative Clause Processing

Nayoun Kim ; Jiayi Lu
(1st / corresponding author) Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Sungkyunkwan Univ.
Ph.D student, Department of Linguistics, Stanford Univ.

© 2022 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies proposed that readers engage in predictive processing by showing that the processing of expected elements is facilitated compared to unexpected elements (Frazier and d’Arcais 1989, Frazier and Clifton 1989, Stowe 1986). However, others claim that such processing facilitation can also be attributed to integration facilitation (Gibson 1998, 2000, Grodner and Gibson 2005). Using a self-paced reading experiment, this study provides evidence for predictive processing by examining the processing of passive relative clauses with pied-piped by-phrases. We found evidence that the processing of inanimate embedded subjects is facilitated after encountering by-phrases, an effect that can only be attributed to predictive processing rather than integration facilitation. Overall, this study provides further evidence that readers engage in a predictive structure-building processes ahead of encountering unequivocal bottom-up input (Phillips 2006, Staub and Clifton 2006, Wagers and Phillips 2009, Yoshida 2006, Yoshida, Dickey and Sturt 2013).


structural prediction, passive relative clause processing, pied-piping, p-stranding, animacy, integration, moving-window self-paced reading experiment


We would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. We would also like to thank Masaya Yoshida for his helpful discussions.


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