English
 
User Manual Privacy Policy Disclaimer Contact us
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

The word order of languages predicts native speakers’ working memory

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons72564

Amici,  Federica
Junior Research Group of Primate Kin Selection, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons127579

Sánchez-Amaro,  Alex
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons96386

Allritz,  Matthias
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

External Ressource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (public)

Amici_Word_SciRep_2019.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Amici, F., Sánchez-Amaro, A., Sebastián-Enesco, C., Allritz, M., Cachhione, T., Salazar-Bonet, J., et al. (2019). The word order of languages predicts native speakers’ working memory. Scientific Reports, 9: 1124. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37654-9.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-0B24-9
Abstract
The relationship between language and thought is controversial. One hypothesis is that language fosters habits of processing information that are retained even in non-linguistic domains. In left-branching (LB) languages, modifiers usually precede the head, and real-time sentence comprehension may more heavily rely on retaining initial information in working memory. Here we presented a battery of working memory and short-term memory tasks to adult native speakers of four LB and four right-branching (RB) languages from Africa, Asia and Europe. In working memory tasks, LB speakers were better than RB speakers at recalling initial stimuli, but worse at recalling final stimuli. Our results show that the practice of parsing sentences in specific directions due to the syntax and word order of our native language not only predicts the way we remember words, but also other non-linguistic stimuli.