Events

Verbs play a central role in constraining the structure of a sentence. However, in language production, whether verbs play an essential role in sentence formulation processes is still controversial (rf. Griffin & V. Ferreira, 2006). Some argue that sentence production may proceed in radically incremental (i.e., word-by-word) manner, without a guidance of verbs’ lexical information, especially in head-final languages (e.g., Iwasaki, 2011). This claim implies that verbs are not necessarily coded in early stage of sentence production and conceptual structure can instead guide sentence formulation. Others argue, mainly based on theoretical considerations, that verbs are essential in constructing structural representation and hence must be coded early (e.g., Ferreira, 2000). This problem of when verb coding is performed is especially pronounced in head-final languages in which verbs are positioned at the end of most utterances. In this talk, I will present a set of experiments that examined the timing of verb coding in head final language (Japanese) production, and discuss some implications from and for models of language production and potential future work regarding this issue.