Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Elaine R. Silliman, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Nathan Maxfield, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stefan A. Frisch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Judith Becker Bryant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sylvia F. Diehl, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruth Huntley Bahr, Ph.D.


Relative Clause Comprehension, Perspective Taking, Complex Syntax, Sentence Processing, Cross-Modal Picture Priming


Fourteen young adults participated in a cross-modal picture priming study. Perspective shift processing, in four types of relative clause sentences and in control sentences, was assessed using reaction times. Predictions were: 1) the easier the perspective shifts, the faster the reaction times and 2) subject relative clauses would reveal a priming effect versus attenuated or no priming in object relative clauses due to difficulty following perspective. A priming effect was observed for 1- switch relative clause sentences and for control sentences, while no priming effect was observed for 0 switch, 1+ switch, or 2 switch sentences. Results suggest that variations in local syntactic constructions and word order facilitated relative clause processing. Violations of semantic expectations and noun-noun-verb distance in following perspective can both contribute to the complexity of relative clause processing.