This study investigated the generalizability of the claim that syntactic priming persists, while only the lexical boost to syntactic priming decays (Hartsuiker, Bernolet, Schoonbaert, Spreybroek & Vanderelst, 2008). We report syntactic priming experiments and corresponding memory experiments featuring a lag manipulation (LAG 0, 2 and 6) for three different syntactic contrasts in Dutch: transitives (Experiments 1a and b), datives (Experiments 2a and b) and the choice between auxiliary-participle and participleauxiliary word order in relative clauses (Experiments 3a and b). Even though prime and target constructions always used unrelated head verbs, decay in the strength of priming was observed for all three contrasts. Participants’ memory for the syntactic structures under study was also significantly better in the immediate condition than at later lags. We conclude that, even in unrelated verb conditions, the explicit memory of the prime sentence enhances syntactic priming, leading to stronger priming in immediate conditions than when sentences intervene between the prime and the target sentence.
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