Lexical preference and global structure contributions to syntactic choice in sentence production

Clare J. Huxley, Janet F. McLean, Holly P. Branigan, Martin J. Pickering

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


When people decide how to express a message, they have to choose among different sentence structures. These choices are affected by lexical factors (such as whether a verb is more commonly associated with one structure than another) and by structural factors, such as the overall preference for one structure over another. After reviewing the psycholinguistic literature, we discuss a range of grammars that make use of lexical information in syntactic structure building. We then discuss recent psycholinguistic evidence that suggests that choice of structure depends on lexical information and on the global syntactic environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase, word order and prominence
Subtitle of host publicationinteracting cues in language production and comprehension
EditorsMonique Lamers, Peter de Swart
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789400714632
ISBN (Print)9789400714625
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameStudies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISSN (Print)1873-0043


  • Sentence production
  • Syntax
  • Lexical preference
  • Language processing


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