Word order in sentence processing: An experimental study of verb placement in German

Helga Weyerts, Martina Penke, Thomas F. Münte, Hans Jochen Heinze, Harald Clahsen*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
26 Zitate (Scopus)


We examine the question of whether the human comprehension device exhibits word-order preferences during on-line sentence comprehension. The focus is on the positioning of finite verbs and auxiliaries relative to subjects and objects in German. Results from three experiments (using self-paced reading and event-related brain potentials) show that native speakers of German prefer to process finite verbs in second position (i.e., immediately after the subject and before the object). We will account for this order preference in terms of the relative processing costs associated with SVfO and SOVf. Our finding that word-order preferences play an important role in the on-line comprehension of German sentences is compatible with results from previous studies on English and other languages.

ZeitschriftJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Seiten (von - bis)211-268
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.12.2002

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Untersuchen Sie die Forschungsthemen von „Word order in sentence processing: An experimental study of verb placement in German“. Zusammen bilden sie einen einzigartigen Fingerprint.