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Previous work has debated whether humans make use of hierarchic syntax when processing language (Frank and Bod, 2011; Fossum and Levy, 2012). This paper uses an eye-tracking corpus to demonstrate that hierarchic syntax significantly improves reading time prediction over a strong n-gram baseline. This study shows that an interpolated 5-gram baseline can be made stronger by combining n-gram statistics over entire eye-tracking regions rather than simply using the last n-gram in each region, but basic hierarchic syntactic measures are still able to achieve significant improvements over this improved baseline.

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