Conceptual accessibility and sentence production in a free word order language (Odawa)

Kiel Christianson, Fernanda Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study reported here was conducted in the Algonquian language of Odawa (a.k.a. Ottawa), with the goal of gaining new insight into the ways that conceptual accessibility affects human sentence production. The linguistic characteristics of Odawa are quite different from those found in the languages most often examined by psycholinguists. The data obtained from the sentence production experiment reported here are thus relevant to production in a heretofore unexamined language. Moreover, the data inform broader theoretical issues, such as the extent to which sentence production can be considered as an incremental process, and the interaction of the various factors affecting conceptual accessibility. In addition, the study stands as evidence that experimental psycholinguistic research can and should be carried out in typologically diverse languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-135
Number of pages31
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Conceptual accessibility
  • Cross-linguistic research
  • Field research
  • Language production
  • Native American languages
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Syntax
  • Word order

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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