1025_sem_prag

1025_sem_prag - Language comprehension Lecture 6:...

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Language comprehension Lecture 6: Pragmatics and context in sentence comprehension 9.591; 24.945 October 25, 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. Lecture 5: Experience / frequency and ambiguity resolution; the serial / parallel issue. Lecture 6: Pragmatics and context in sentence comprehension
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Sentence processing: Recap thus far Multiple factors are involved in processing unambiguous sentences and in ambiguity resolution. ¾ Discourse context 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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Referential theory (Crain & Steedman, 1985; Altmann & Steedman, 1988) The referential theory was developed to account for the observation that the null context is not necessarily a neutral context: The null context might favor one interpretation over another. E.g. MV/RR ambiguity: (1) # The horse raced past the barn fell. (Bever, 1970) The standard view in the literature was that the garden-path effect in (1) was due to a syntactic preference for the MV over the RR structure.
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The referential theory I: The principle of parsimony (Crain & Steedman, 1985): A reading which carries fewer unsupported presuppositions will be favored over one that carries more. II: The principle of referential support (Altmann & Steedman, 1988): An NP analysis which is referentially supported will be favored over one that is not. Referential theory explanation of the garden-path effect in (1): There are fewer unsupported presuppositions (this is C&S's term: a better term is implicatures) in the MV structure than in the RR structure. This follows from the principle of parsimony.
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To do today: Evaluating the referential theory (Crain & Steedman, 1985; Altmann & Steedman, 1988): ¾ Tests of the principle of parsimony in null contexts ¾ Tests of the principle of referential support in contexts ¾ Generalizing referential theory to the processing of unambiguous sentences (Grodner, Gibson & Watson, in press) Pragmatic processing: Implicatures and on-line sentence processing (Sedivy et al.) ¾ When do people compute contrast sets?
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Presuppositions in the mental model for the MV structure of “the horse raced”: 1. A horse h; i Presuppositions in the mental model for the RR structure of “the horse raced”: 1. A horse h; i 2. A set of horses H of which h i is a member; 3. One of this set, h, was raced somewhere; i 4. None of the other members of the set H have the property in (3), that they were raced in the same way that h was raced.
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course BIO 9.07 taught by Professor Ruthrosenholtz during the Spring '04 term at MIT.

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1025_sem_prag - Language comprehension Lecture 6:...

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