Lexical guidance in sentence processing: A note on Adams, Clifton, and Mitchell (1998)

R P G van Gompel, M J Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mitchell (1987) conducted a self-paced reading experiment that showed that people experienced difficulty reading a noun phrase when it immediately followed an intransitive verb. From this, he argued for a two-stage theory of parsing, in which verb subcategorization information is initially ignored. In response, Adams, Clifton, and Mitchell (1998) found no evidence to support this claim in an eye-tracking experiment and argued that Mitchell's segmentation procedure distorted the parsing process. We report an eye-tracking experiment, in which materials similar to those in Adams et al., but with longer noun phrases, were used, that showed a pattern of difficulty similar to Mitchell's findings. Hence, Mitchells results did not depend on the use of an artificial method of presentation. Me results cast further doubt on the adequacy of constraint-based accounts of parsing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-857
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Volume8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001

Keywords

  • SYNTACTIC AMBIGUITY RESOLUTION
  • EYE-MOVEMENTS
  • FIXATION TIMES
  • GARDEN-PATHS
  • COMPREHENSION
  • CONTEXT
  • PLAUSIBILITY
  • CONSTRAINTS
  • ATTACHMENT
  • FREQUENCY

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