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1004_ambig_res

1004_ambig_res - Language comprehension Lecture 4 Ambiguity...

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Language comprehension Lecture 4: Ambiguity resolution: Resources; structural frequencies 9.591; 24.945 October 4, 2004 Ted Gibson
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9.591 Course so far Lecture 1: Experimental methods; Informational constraints affecting sentence comprehension: Lexical frequency, plausibility, context and syntax; Modularity in sentence comprehension. Lecture 2: Resources and sentence complexity. The complexity of unambiguous sentences. Lecture 3: Working memory and sentence comprehension. Lecture 4: Ambiguity resolution: Resources; structural frequencies.
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Sentence processing: Recap thus far Multiple factors are involved in processing unambiguous sentences and in ambiguity resolution: (a) Syntactic structure; (b) Lexical frequency; (c) Plausibility; (d) Discourse context; (e) Intonation; (f) all information sources are constrained by the amount of working memory resources that are available. ¾ How exactly the factors are represented and processed are open questions: Minimal Attachment & Late Closure vs. Storage and Integration (DLT)? Today: Evidence supporting the DLT in ambiguity resolution ¾ Frequency: What kind of frequency is the human sentence processor sensitive to? What is the time course of information integration? ¾ Modular (syntax-first)? Or non-modular? Is the parser serial or constrained parallel?
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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 / Expectations: Predicting categories to complete the current structure.
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Recap: Locality effects in unambiguous structures Grodner & Gibson (in press) Experiment 1: Object-extracted relative clause: The reporter who the photographer sent to the editor hoped for a good story. Subject-extracted relative clause: The reporter who sent the photographer to the editor hoped for a good story.
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Locality effects in unambiguous structures Object-extracted relative clause: The reporter who the photographer sent to the editor hoped for a story. 1 1 1 2 0 4 0 1 0 0 The reporter who the photographer sent to the editor hoped for 0 1 0 0 1 1+2 0 0 1 4 0
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Locality effects in unambiguous structures Subject-extracted relative clause: The reporter who sent the photographer to the editor hoped for a story. 1 1 1 0 4 0 1 0 1 The reporter who sent the photographer to the editor hoped for 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 4 0
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Object Extractions 430 RTs DLT 2.5 420 2 410 400 1.5 390 380 1 370 360 0.5 350 340 0 The reporter who the sent to the editor hoped for a good story photographer 430 RTs DLT 2.5 Subject Extractions 420 2 410 400 1.5 390 380 1 370 360 0.5 350 340 0 The reporter who sent the to the editor hoped for a good story photographer
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Reading Time / Word (msec) Experiment 1: DLT vs. RTs (Grodner & Gibson, in press) Linear model: r 2 = .582, p < .001 430 420 410 400 390 380 370 360 350 340 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 DLT Integration Cost 2.5
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Grodner & Gibson (in press) results RTs are long at points of long dependencies Note that the data are not consistent with a “rare phrase structure rule” hypothesis (MacDonald & Christiansen, 2002; Hale, 2002, 2003)
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