Integration and prediction difficulty in Hindi sentence comprehension: Evidence from an eye-tracking corpus

  • Samar Husain Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India
  • Shravan Vasishth University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Narayanan Srinivasan CBCS, University of Allahabad, India
Keywords: reading, Hindi, eye-tracking, sentence comprehension, integration cost, storage cost


This is the first attempt at characterizing reading difficulty in Hindi using naturally occurring sentences. We created the Potsdam-Allahabad Hindi Eyetracking Corpus by recording eye-movement data from 30 participants at the University of Allahabad, India. The target stimuli were 153 sentences selected from the beta version of the Hindi-Urdu treebank. We find that word- or low-level predictors (syllable length, unigram and bigram frequency) affect first-pass reading times, regression path duration, total reading time, and outgoing saccade length. An increase in syllable length results in longer fixations, and an increase in word unigram and bigram frequency leads to shorter fixations. Longer syllable length and higher frequency lead to longer outgoing saccades. We also find that two predictors of sentence comprehension difficulty, integration and storage cost, have an effect on reading difficulty. Integration cost (Gibson, 2000) was approximated by calculating the distance (in words) between a dependent and head; and storage cost (Gibson, 2000), which measures difficulty of maintaining predictions, was estimated by counting the number of predicted heads at each point in the sentence. We find that integration cost mainly affects outgoing saccade length, and storage cost affects total reading times and outgoing saccade length. Thus, word-level predictors have an effect in both early and late measures of reading time, while predictors of sentence comprehension difficulty tend to affect later measures. This is, to our knowledge, the first demonstration using eye-tracking that both integration and storage cost influence reading difficulty.
How to Cite
Husain, S., Vasishth, S., & Srinivasan, N. (2014). Integration and prediction difficulty in Hindi sentence comprehension: Evidence from an eye-tracking corpus. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 8(2).