Effects of forward and backward contextual elaboration on lexical inferences: Evidence from a semantic relatedness judgment task

Abstract

Three experiments examined whether the process of lexical inferences differs according to the direction of contextual elaboration using a semantic relatedness judgment task. In Experiment 1, Japanese university students read English sentences where target unknown words were semantically elaborated by prior contextual information (forward lexical inferences) and by subsequent contextual information (backward lexical inferences). Accuracy of semantic relatedness judgments, and reaction times to target-probe words demonstrated that participants could activate lexical inferences in either case. These findings were replicated in Experiments 2 and 3, where sentence chunks were presented one at a time to prevent the use of a rereading strategy. Taken together, the results suggest that whereas the processes of forward lexical inferences are involved in contextword integration by anticipating upcoming word meanings, those of backward lexical inferences are operating an unknown word in working memory, finding highly elaborative contexts, and then integrating the contextual message with the possible meaning.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hamada2015EffectsOF, title={Effects of forward and backward contextual elaboration on lexical inferences: Evidence from a semantic relatedness judgment task}, author={Akira Hamada and Yukie Horiba and Keiko Fukaya and Loraine K. Obler and Jia-Ying Lee and Nobuko Sakurai and Jennifer Shannahan and J. W. Macalister and Setsuko Mori and Fredricka L. Stoller and Junko Yamashita and George M Jacobs and Eun Hee Jeon and Xiangying Jiang and Jeongsoon Joh and Cheryl Kirchhoff and Batia Laufer and Wenling Li and Yu-Cheng Lin and Gretchen Sunderman and Atsuko Takase and Yea-Ru Tsai and Jez Uden and Thomas D. Upton and Ian A. G. Wilkinson and Hae Sung Yang and Samuel Aguirre and R. Cunningham and Gregory J. Gagnon and Reginald Gentry and Jennifer E. Holdway and Alex Kasula and Jake Kletzien and Priscilla Leal and Jerica Manoa and Mike Misner and Jennifer Monje and Aki Omote and Kristin Rock and K. U. Smith and Shira Smith and Jay Tanaka and Aurora Tsai and Kezhu Wang}, year={2015} }