On sentential anagrams: Making sentences out of words

Paul A. Kolers, Norman W. Park, Gary S. Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perception and production of language often have a problem-solving component to them, and this has not been much studied. The present article describes an exploratory approach to some aspects of production which required college students to reorder sentential anagrams. The main finding was that the number of words to be ordered was the greatest influence on performance, whereas little if any influence was exerted by the grammatical variables studied. Although the problem-solving process does not model all language use, it may model the more creative aspect, in which people try to make nonstandard statements. In contrast to a common current view that sentences are holistic, well-formed linguistic objects in mind, the present work emphasizes the developmental and interactive aspect of language production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-192
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'On sentential anagrams: Making sentences out of words'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this