An eye-tracking study of ambiguity processing by children and adults


Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)PosterAcademic researchpeer-review


We examined the processing of lexical ambiguity in an eye-tracking study of children and adults in their reading of grammatically ambiguous words. Words
such as crack (ambiguous between a noun and a verb interpretation,
e.g., in crack on the wall vs. crack the nut) were embedded in sentence
contexts that biased toward either a noun reading or a verb reading or
in a neutral context. The sentences were presented to sixth graders and
normal college students with an ASL eye-tracker. Fixation durations
were measured for the target ambiguous word, the duration from the offset of the ambiguous word to the end of the sentence, and the total reading time of the whole sentence. ANOVA and regression analyses reveal
interesting differences between children and adults in the processing
of noun–verb homographs. Implications of these results are discussed
with respect to an activation-based model of ambiguity processing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event44th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Duration: 6 Nov 20039 Nov 2003


Conference44th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Abbreviated titleSCiP 2003
CityBritish Columbia
Internet address


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