Context reduces coercion costs - Evidence from eyetracking during reading


This paper presents an eyetracking during reading experiment that investigated the role of supportive context on processing aspectual coercion. Coercion sentences in need of aspectual enrichment were embedded in discourse contexts providing the necessary information for successful interpretation. The findings of the reported experiment show that context information can be used immediately without disrupting reading of coercion sentences. The lack of coercion costs in supportive discourse contexts provides experimental evidence for the proposed Composition in Context Hypothesis and against theories that view semantic composition as largely encapsulated from context. Furthermore, the present experiment investigated the role of inter-individual differences in verbal working memory capacity on the immediate use of contextual information in computing coerced interpretations.

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