The Predictive Processing of Korean Control Sentences

Volume 17
Issue 3
Jina Song & Hongoak Yun
The goal of this study is to investigate whether an antecedent for pro in Korean control sentences is predictively determined and if so, which constituent is preferred to be selected as an antecedent for pro. We manipulated the type of preverbal markers (i.e., control-creating markers, –keys or –la, and a control-neutral marker, -kes) and the type of control verbs (subject control verbs, object control verbs). Using a self-paced moving window reading task with a secondary judgment, we found that 1) reading times at control verbs were slower when preverbal markers (i.e., control-neutral markers) did not provide any particular semantic information on pro than when they (i.e., control-creating markers) cued semantic information on pro. 2) The words prior to control verbs took longer to read when the antecedent for pro corresponded to matrix subjects than matrix objects. 3) The rejection rates of sentences were higher from the position of control verbs when controlneutral markers were used and pro had to be co-indexed with matrix subjects than when control-creating markers were used and pro had to be co-indexed with matrix objects. Our results suggest that licensing of pro identity was predictively determined and matrix objects were preferred the antecedent for pro. Taken together, we claim that Korean readers actively and immediately use information from preverbal markers and control verbs associated with pro resolution. 

Keywords: predictive processing, Korean control sentences, control-creating markers