This study was set to examine the importance of semantics and syntax in the brain’s ability to process and correctly recall content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) in sentences (Miller, Isard 1963). The sample involved 140 first year psychology students attending a compulsory laboratory at the Australian National University. The experiment was conducted similarly to that of the Miller and Isard study (1963), in which subjects were presented with 60 different sentences. 20 of which were normal grammatical sentences (normal); 20 were semantically anomalous sentences that were syntactically sound (sem-syn+), and 20 were syntactically invalid sentences that were also semantically incoherent (syn-sem-). In attempts to support the results concluded from the Miller and Isard (1963) study a memory task was used that required subjects to accurately recall the constitute words in a sentence a short period after they were initially exposed. This task tested participant’s memory functions and recall abilities whilst supporting the argument that claimed when sentences are both semantically and syntactically sound, the content words that make up the sentence will be recalled after a short duration of time more accurately than when the words are strung together in an ungrammatical fashion.
The importance of semantics and syntax in sentence processing and retrieval
When it comes to understanding the human ability of reconising integral words in sentences and then recalling them back after a short duration of time, one must acknowledge the important roles that both syntax and semantics play in this process. Many studies have been conducted in attempts to gain more information on the semantic processes, syntactic processes, and their coordination in sentence comprehension (Hahne & Jescheniak, 2001). Because the mechanisms underlying recall of meaningful sequences of words are not well understood, it has yet to be...