There exists extensive prior theoretical literature on demonstrative-verb and subject-verb agreement, yet basic research questions have not been adequately tested. This experiment uses collective nouns that are polysemous in order to test whether the singular or plural form is preferred when referring to the collective noun. It also aims to test whether increasing the distance between the target (demonstrative or verb) affects ratings.
For demonstrative-verb agreement, this experiment aims to test whether the singular or plural form ('This/these') is favoured in English when referring to collective nouns (e.g. crowd, congregation etc.).
For subject-verb agreement, this experiment aims to test whether the singular or plural form ('was/were') is favoured in English when referring to collective nouns.
Experimental filler words are added in the 'long' conditions, aiming to test whether demonstratives (semantic memory) or verbs (syntatic) are affected by the increased distance between the targets.