The topic comprehension process in simile sentences


Our study investigates the process of topic comprehension in comparative sentences and the relationship between this process and the word order of topic and vehicle. Our experiment used a meaningfulness decision task with three conditions: no-vehicle sentence (e.g. a word hurts someone), vehicle-after-topic sentence (e.g. a word, like a weapon, hurts someone), and vehicle-before-topic sentence (e.g. like a weapon, a word hurts someone.) The results of the meaningfulness decision task show that the vehicle-after-topic sentence and the vehicle-before-topic sentence were judged as meaningful more quickly than the no-vehicle sentence. Especially in comparative sentences with low conventional vehicle, the vehicle-before-topic sentences were judged more quickly than the vehicle-after-topic sentences.

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