Processing of empty categories in Japanese
Recent experimental research on the processing of empty categories (EC) in English points to the general conclusion that during on-line processing of a sentence, not only is the presence of an EC detected but its linguistically legitimate antecedents are also computed. In this paper, it is argued that, in Japanese, ECs pose serious problems for on-line processing if they are to be processed in a manner similar to English. Initial experimental data indicates that, in Japanese, the processor may not recognize an EC during initial on-line processing of a sentence. It is tentatively suggested that processing of an EC in Japanese may be delayed until after the on-line processing of the structure of a sentence. © 1991 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
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