© 2003

Understanding Complex Sentences

Native Speaker Variation in Syntactic Competence

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 1-30
  3. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 31-50
  4. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 51-69
  5. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 70-87
  6. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 88-107
  7. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 108-133
  8. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 134-156
  9. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 157-172
  10. Ngoni Chipere
    Pages 211-224
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 225-248

About this book


Is native speaker variation in understanding complex sentences due to individual differences in working memory capacity or in syntactic competence? The answer to this question has very important consequences for both theoretical and applied concerns in linguistics and education. This book is distinctive in giving an historical and interdisciplinary perspective on the rule- based and experience-based debate and in supporting an integrated account. In the study reported here, variation was found to be due to differences in syntactic competence and the author argues that sentence comprehension is a learned skill, displaying many of the general characteristics of cognitive skills. The book will be stimulating reading for psycholinguists, theoretical linguists, applied linguists and educators.


Index memory Symbol syntactic

About the authors

DR NGONI CHIPERE is Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Reading University, working on child language development. His doctoral research in sentence comprehension was undertaken at Cambridge University and he held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate prior to his current post . He has extensive teaching experience in schools.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Understanding Complex Sentences
  • Book Subtitle Native Speaker Variation in Syntactic Competence
  • Authors N. Chipere
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2003
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Language & Linguistics Collection Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-98639-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-43102-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-230-00588-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 248
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Psycholinguistics
    Cognitive Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


'There is no doubt that [Chipere's] work...will attract a lot of interest in linguistic and educational circles worldwide...The book will be of interest to psycholinguists, applied linguists and educators.' - Richard Hudson, University College London