ORDER, DISTRIBUTIVITY AND ATTRACTION DURING AGREEMENT PRODUCTION

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT: Several studies have found that factors of different nature (semantic, morphological and syntactic) affect the computation of subject-verb agreement during sentence production (BOCK; MILLER, 1991; FRANCK; VIGLIOCCO; NICOL, 2002; HARTSUIKER et. al., 2003; HASKELL; MACDONALD, 2003; VIGLIOCCO; BUTTERWORTH; SEMENZA 1995) The aim of this paper are: a) to investigate the influence of the linear order of constituents, exploiting the relative flexibility of Spanish; b) inquire whether a semantic variable, such as distributive reading, and a morphological variable, such as manipulation of the number of local noun, are factors that affect the processing of the agreement. We designed an experiment using an image description task with preambles in which the order of the subject of the sentence (pre-verbal or post-verbal), the type of preamble (nominal phrases with distributive and non-distributive reading) and the number of the local noun (singular-plural) was manipulated. The results showed a main effect of the local noun number, the type of preamble and the linear order of the constituents: more subject-verb agreement errors occurred when the sentence presented an asymmetry in the number of nouns (N1 Singular- N2 Plural), the phrases had a distributive reading and the order was subject-verb. The results seem to indicate that syntactic, semantic and morphological factors interfere together in the agreement processing in Spanish and support the postulates of the interactive models of agreement production. In addition, they provide evidence to a general processing model in which the different factors work as keys to the retrieval of information in the agreement computation (BADECKER; KUMINIAK, 2007).</p><p></p>