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Authors
Anna K. Laurinavichyute, Irina A. Sekerina, Svetlana Alexeeva, Kristine Bagdasaryan & Reinhold Kliegl

Russian Sentence Corpus: Benchmark measures of eye movements in reading in Russian

publication date
15 June 2018
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

This article introduces a new corpus of eye movements in silent reading—the Russian Sentence Corpus (RSC). Russian uses the Cyrillic script, which has not yet been investigated in cross-linguistic eye movement research. As in every language studied so far, we confirmed the expected effects of low-level parameters, such as word length, frequency, and predictability, on the eye movements of skilled Russian readers. These findings allow us to add Slavic languages using Cyrillic script (exemplified by Russian) to the growing number of languages with different orthographies, ranging from the Roman-based European languages to logographic Asian ones, whose basic eye movement benchmarks conform to the universal comparative science of reading (Share, 2008). We additionally report basic descriptive corpus statistics and three exploratory investigations of the effects of Russian morphology on the basic eye movement measures, which illustrate the kinds of questions that researchers can answer using the RSC.


Conclusion/Results

The main goal of this article was to introduce the new Russian Sentence Corpus of eye movements during sentence reading in a Slavic language with a Cyrillic script—that is, Russian, which has not yet been investigated in cross-linguistic eye movement research. As in every language studied so far, we have confirmed the expected effects of low-level parameters, such as word length, frequency, and predictability, on the eye movements of skilled Russian readers. The findings from our study allow us to add Cyrillic-based Slavic languages to the growing number of languages with different orthographies ranging from the Roman-based European languages to logographic Asian ones whose eye movement benchmarks confirm the universality of basic benchmarks in reading (Share, 2008). We have also established descriptive corpus statistics for reading in Russian in the form of the average saccade length, landing site, fixation duration measures, probabilities of skipping and fixating words, as well as proportions of regressions, in reading of natural sentences. Finally, we have conducted three simple exploratory investigations of the effects of morphology on the basic eye movement measures in Russian that illustrate the kinds of questions researchers can answer using the RSC.


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