Syntactic Prominence Effects On Discourse Processes

Gail McKoon*, Roger Ratcliff, Gregory Ward, Richard Sproat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We propose that the meaning of a text is determined in part by syntactic structures that affect the relative prominence given to the concepts in the text. This proposal was tested in four experiments; the data showed that concepts placed in syntactically prominent positions have increased accessibility in short-term memory during reading and also increased accessibility later in long-term memory. We speculate on how such effects might be understood in terms of current theories of text processing and memory retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-607
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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