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Eyes jump from word to word while we read

When we read, eyes do not move continuously over individual letters but rather jump from word to word in roughly equal steps or jumps. Faster readers make fewer such movements with longer jumps than slower readers. With sentences that contain unusual linguistic features like non-standard words, ungrammatical syntactic patterns, or typos, reading slows down or even stops. In certain cases, the eyes may also return to a previous point and start reading the same part of the sentence again. Eye-movement, that is, jumps or saccades and fixations and the identified points where reading changes its pace, can tell us a lot about the grammaticality or ungrammaticality of the selected sentence/word/phrase, about the oddity of a specific word or, simply, that a particular word or a grammatical element presents a problem to the reader. Such research is important not only for linguistics but also for the study of reading and the way reading is taught. As part of the event, we will use a portable eye-tracker to show visitors how their eyes move across the text. Reading a regular sentence will be compared to reading a non-grammatical sentence, reading a meaningless sentence, reading a sentence with unusual words, and a sentence with typos. The theory behind reading will be briefly explained on a poster that will stand next to the eye-tracker. 

Researchers: Prof. Franc Marušič, Assoc. Prof. Aleš Žaucer, Petra Mišmaš, PhD 


P6-0382 (A) – ARRS.