Prominence in Spanish sentence comprehension: an eye-tracking study

<p>We report an eye-tracking experiment that examined argument linking and the role of prominence in Spanish sentence comprehension by testing the interplay between word order and verb type. Previous evidence from a self-paced reading study (Gattei, Dickey, Wainselboim, & París, 2015). showed that comprehenders use morphosyntactic information to form predictions about the thematic structure of the upcoming verb. In this study we focussed on the time course of this process. Results showed an interaction between verb type and word order for late eye movement measures but not for early eye movement measures. Participants regressed more and for longer time when word order did not match the canonical order for each verb class. This interaction is observed from the verb region onwards, independently of word order. We interpret that these effects take place due to the misinterpretation of the prominence status of the preverbal argument, leading to differential reading strategies.</p>