Use of Verb Information in Syntactic Parsing: Evidence From Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Pace...
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Use of Verb Information in Syntactic Parsing: Evidence From Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading. Ferreira and Henderson (1990). Sentence processing models.

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Use of Verb Information in Syntactic Parsing: Evidence From Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

Ferreira and Henderson (1990)


Sentence processing models
Sentence processing models Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Interactive model: All sorts of information (lexical, syntactic, semantic) communicate in an unconstrained fashion to produce the most plausible reading at the earliest stages of sentence comprehension


Sentence processing models cont
Sentence Processing Models cont. Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Garden Path Model: Distinct modules within the language system. Communication occurs, but in a constrained fashion.

  • Minimal Attachment Principle: Sentences initially receive the simplest syntactic analysis possible


Research questions
Research Questions Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Does verb information aid readers in their initial parsing of temporarily ambiguous sentences?

  • Can verb subcategorization override minimal attachment?


Methodology
Methodology Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Experiment 1: Eyetracking

  • Experiment 2: noncumulative word-by-word self-paced paradigm

  • Experiment 3: cumulative word-by-word self-paced paradigm


Experiment 1
Experiment 1 Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Subjects: 12 members of University of Massachusetts community

  • Materials: four lists of 80 experimental items and 72 fillers

  • Factors: verb bias, presence of complementizer


Verb types
Verb Types Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Minimal Attachment Verbs: Strongly biased for a minimal attachment of the ambiguous noun phrase, e.g. guess

  • Nonminimal Attachment Verbs: Strongly biased for a nonminimal interpretation of the ambiguous noun phrase, e.g. brag


Sentence frames
Sentence Frames Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading


Results first fixation duration
Results-First Fixation Duration Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading


Total reading time
Total Reading Time Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading


Regressions
Regressions Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Verb bias had effect on regressions to the disambiguating region.

  • Reanalysis appeared to be easier with nonminimal attachment verbs

    (4 vs. 21 regressions)


Experiment 2
Experiment 2 Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Self-paced reading task (non-cumulative)

  • Subjects: 24 University of Alberta undergraduates

  • Materials: Same as Experiment 1


Results mean reading times
Results- Mean Reading Times Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading


Experiment 3
Experiment 3 Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Same as Experiment 2, but with a cumulative self-paced reading task

    (allows reader to reread)


Results mean total reading time
Results – Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced ReadingMean Total Reading Time


Discussion
Discussion Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • Expt. 1 : Verb bias did not prevent misanalysis, but seemed to facilitate reanalysis

  • Expt. 2: Robust effect of verb bias on postdisambiguating region (less total reading times) → verb bias aids reanalysis

  • Expt. 3: weaker effects (methodological issues)


SO… Eye Movements and Word-by-Word Self-Paced Reading

  • The fact that sentences lacking a complementizer are harder to process regardless of verb bias supports the garden-path model!


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