Persistent structural priming from language comprehension to language production

Kathryn Bock, Gary S. Dell, Franklin Chang, Kristine H. Onishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine the relationship between syntactic processes in language comprehension and language production, we compared structural persistence from sentence primes that speakers heard to persistence from primes that speakers produced. [Bock, J. K., & Griffin, Z. M. (2000). The persistence of structural priming: transient activation or implicit learning? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129, 177-192.] showed that the production of target priming structures increased the probability of spontaneously using the same structures to describe events in subsequent pictures that were semantically unrelated to the primes. These priming effects persisted across as many as ten intervening filler trials. The present studies replicated these results using auditorily presented primes to which participants only listened. The results indicated persistence of priming across all lags, with relative magnitudes of priming as large as those observed by Bock and Griffin. The implication is that structural priming is persistent regardless of the modality in which language structures are experienced, underscoring the power of priming as an implicit learning mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-458
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Implicit learning
  • Language comprehension
  • Language learning
  • Language production
  • Sentence production
  • Structural persistence
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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