Lateralized imagery for sentence content: Testing grammar, gender and demonstratives

AbstractWe investigated imagery by making participants (n=530) draw stick-figure drawings of sentences containing a transitive action ("She kisses him"). Previous findings show that prominent features of meaning and sentence structure are placed to the left in drawings, according to reading direction. We replicated three findings: the first mentioned element is placed on the left more often, the agent is placed on the left, and the grammatical subject is placed on the left. We further tested hypotheses related to deixis and gender. By adding adverbs (here and there), that work as demonstratives in Danish, we tested whether deictic proximity is translated into a leftward bias. This hypothesis was not supported. Analyses of gender tested the presence of a gender identification and a gender stereotype bias, where either own or male gender is given prominence and thus placed on the left. We were unable to support for either of the gender hypotheses.

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