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Effect of Animacy on Word Order Processing in Kaqchikel Maya

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2013.33027    3,531 Downloads   5,392 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the processing load of transitive sentences in two different basic word orders (i.e., VOS and SVO) in Kaqchikel Maya, with a particular focus on the animacy of the object. The results of a sentence plausibility judgment task showed that VOS sentences were processed faster than SVO sentences regardless of the animacy of the object. This supports the traditional analysis in Mayan linguistics that, although SVO is the most frequently used word order, the syntactically determined basic word order is VOS in Kaqchikel, as in many other Mayan languages. More importantly, the results suggest that the processing load in Kaqchikel sentence comprehension is more strongly affected by syntactic canonicity than production frequency or object animacy.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kiyama, S. , Tamaoka, K. , Kim, J. & Koizumi, M. (2013). Effect of Animacy on Word Order Processing in Kaqchikel Maya. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 3, 203-207. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2013.33027.

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