Depth of processing in language comprehension: not noticing the evidence

Anthony Sanford, Patrick Sturt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The study of processes underlying the interpretation of language often produces evidence that they are complete and occur incrementally. However, computational linguistics has shown that interpretations are often effective even if they are underspecified. We present evidence that similar underspecified representations are used by humans during comprehension, drawing on a scattered and varied literature. We also show how linguistic properties of focus, subordination and focalization can control depth of processing, leading to underspecified representations. Modulation of degrees of specification might provide a way forward in the development of models of the processing underlying language understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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