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8.3: Psycholinguistics- Traces in the Mind

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    We’ve claimed that when the operation MOVE moves a head or a phrase into a new Surface Structure position, it leaves a silent copy of itself (a trace) behind in the Deep Structure position. This unit presents psycholinguistic evidence that these traces do form part of our mental representation of sentences.
    Thumbnail for the embedded element "8.12 Traces in the Mind"

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    Check Yourself

    1. Which of the following illustrates the position of the trace in the wh-question What did Christina order at Chipotle?

    • What did Christina order at Chipotle what.
    • What did Christina order what at Chipotle.

    2. Which of the following ungrammatical sentences gives evidence that unpronounced traces exist in our mental representations of sentences?

    • *Did you ate what for lunch?
    • *What did you eat sandwiches for lunch?

    3. Predict which sentence would lead to more eye movements to a picture of a rabbit after the verb chase:

    • What did the fox chase ^ into the hedge?
    • Did the fox chase ^ the rabbit into the hedge?

    8.3: Psycholinguistics- Traces in the Mind is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Catherine Anderson (eCampusOntario) via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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