0224_sentence_3

0224_sentence_3 - Psycholinguistics Sentence Processing III...

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Psycholinguistics: Sentence Processing III 9.59; 24.905 February 24, 2005 Ted Gibson
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Today’s lecture 1. Information sources used in sentence comprehension. 2. Modularity of information use in sentence comprehension? The sentence processor is probably not modular. 3. Syntactic information use in sentence processing: Locality of syntactic integrations: The dependency locality theory.
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What sources of information do people use in processing sentences? Syntactic structure Word frequency Plausibility (1) The dog bit the man. (2) The man bit the dog. Discourse context Syntactic complexity Intonational information
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Information that is used in sentence comprehension 3. Plausibility of the resulting linguistic expression, in the world Unambiguous examples: The dog bit the boy. vs. The boy bit the dog. Ambiguity: (Trueswell, Tanenhaus & Garnsey, 1994) The defendant examined by the lawyer turned out to be unreliable. The evidence examined by the lawyer turned out to be unreliable.
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Information that is used in sentence comprehension 4. Context (Crain & Steedman, 1985; Altmann & Steedman, 1988; Tanenhaus et al., 1995) Ambiguity: There were two defendants, one of whom the lawyer ignored entirely, and the other of whom the lawyer interrogated for two hours. The defendant examined by the lawyer turned out to be unreliable.
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Monitoring visual eye-movements while listening to spoken instructions “Put the frog on the napkin into the box.” Photo removed for copyright reasons.
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Monitoring visual eye-movements while listening to spoken instructions “Put the frog on the napkin into the box.” Two frog context: No looks to the incorrect target (the second napkin) Photo removed for copyright reasons. One frog context: Many looks to the incorrect target (the second napkin)
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Syntactic information use in sentence processing: The Dependency Locality Theory (DLT, Gibson, 1998, 2000) Resources are required for two aspects of language comprehension: (a) Integration: connecting the current word into the structure built thus far; (b) Storage: Predicting categories to complete the current structure. More on this later in the lecture!
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Open question: The modularity of information use in language processing The time course according to which different information sources become available: Syntactic information first? Lexical information first? All information sources available simultaneously?
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Two kinds of modularity Modularity of information : Different information sources may be computed using separate systems. E.g., syntactic information may be computed using a separate system from plausibility or contextual information Modularity of the time course of information use : Some information may become available before other information. In particular, syntactic information may be available before other kinds of information (Frazier, 1978).
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An early hypothesis regarding ambiguity resolution: The “garden-path theory”: Minimal Attachment and Late Closure Frazier's (1978) hypotheses: ( Note: These are early hypotheses: All are highly debatable now!) 1. The sentence processor is serial
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