عنوان مقاله [English]
Studies in several languages have shown that subject relative clauses (SRCs) are easier and faster to process than object relative clauses (ORCs). Mak, Vonk and Shriefers (2006) have proposed the topichood hypothsis to account for the ease and faster speed of the subject relative clause processing. However, based on this hypothesis, when the embedded noun phrase in a relative clause is a pronoun, the difficulty in processing of object relative clauses is reduced or eliminated. In the present study, the speed and accuracy of the processing Persian subject and object relative clauses with full NP and pronoun were investigated on 40 20-30 year old monolingual normal subjects using self-paced reading (SPR) experiment, one of the online experiments in psycholinguistic studies. The experiment was presented in a linear, noncumulative (i.e., moving window) SPR procedure with phrase-by-phrase segmentation. Each of the 16 sentential stimuli had 4 syntactic forms and altogether, 640 reading time data from the subjects were recorded. The findings indicated that the processing speed of the regions within relative clauses, i.e. the regions containing relative clause noun phrase and relative clause verb, were faster in pronominal ORCs, pronominal SRCs, full NP SRCs and full NP ORCs respectively. However the processing speed of the main clause verb region was a bit different in the various relative clause structures. The conclusions, in line with the results of a number of research in other languages, confirmed the topichood hypothesis with respect to the processing of Persian relative clauses.