Objectives: Purposes of the current study were to investigate whether age-related decline emerged in a case-marker assignment task (CMAT) and to explore the relationship between working-memory (WM) capacity and case-marker processing. Method: A total of 121 individuals participated in the study with 62 younger adults and 59 elderly adults. All were administered a CMAT that consisted of active and passive constructions with canonical and noncanonical word-order conditions. A composite measure of WM tasks served as an index of participants’ WM capacity. Results: The older group performed worse than the younger group, and the noncanonical word order elicited worse performance than the canonical condition. The older group demonstrated greater difficulty in case-marker processing under the canonical condition and passive construction. Regression results revealed that age, education, and sentence type were the best predictors to account for performance on the CMAT. Discussion: The canonicity of word order and passive construction were critical factors related to decline in abilities in a case-marker assignment. The combination of age, education, and sentence type factors accounted for overall performance on case-marker processing. Results indicated the crucial necessity to find a cognitively and linguistically demanding condition that elicits aging effects most efficiently, considering language-specific syntactic features.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences|
|State||Published - 1 Sep 2017|
- Canonicity of word order
- Case-marker processing
- Syntactic complexity
- Working memory capacity