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Revista signos

versão On-line ISSN 0718-0934


ACUNA LUONGO, Nicolás  e  ADAMES VALENCIA, Catherine Elisa. Influence of gender stereotypes in sentence comprehension. Implications for constraint-based models. Rev. signos [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.105, pp.6-31. ISSN 0718-0934.

We present an investigation on syntactic parsing by means of eye tracking techniques, which is framed around the debate of the restriction-based models of connectionist nature. The objective is to determine if gender stereotypes, as shared beliefs, influence syntactic parsing. The participants were 35 university students, who read sentences in which, in one condition, gender stereotypes were fulfilled and in the other condition, they were violated. All the sentences had the structure: subject (S) + verb (V) + direct object (DO) + indirect object (IO) + adjunct (El padre le compró un vestido a su hija/o para su cumpleaños). The DO corresponds to a noun phrase that, in conjunction with S, suggest a gender stereotype. In IO, the addressee varied in grammatical gender in each case, thus, fulfilling or violating the gender stereotype. Significant differences were found in the total fixation duration of each type of sentence. In addition, there were significant differences in regressions from IO to DO. This suggests that there is an interruption of incremental processing when readers read the IO that violates the stereotype causing a rereading of DO in order to reconfirm the initial interpretation. The results support constraint-based models beyond a lexicalist perspective, since general knowledge of the world does influence the construction of syntactic interpretation.

Palavras-chave : Sentence comprehension; gender stereotypes; eye movements; syntactic parsing models.

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