Does snow man prime plastic snow? The effect of constituent position in using relational information during the interpretation of modifier-noun phrases
Three experiments were conducted to determine the extent to which relational and morphosyntactic information influence the processing of modifier-noun phrases. Processing of the target was faster when the shared constituent was in the same position in both the prime and the target, regardless of whether the relation was the same or different. In contrast, relation priming was contingent on the morphosyntactic role of the shared constituent; repeating the relation with the constituent in a different morphosyntactic role did not speed processing of the target (Experiments 1–3) whereas repeating the relation with the constituent in the same role did speed processing (Experiments 3). These results suggest that conceptual information is accessed in light of the constituent's particular morphosyntactic role.