Parsing modifiers: The case of bare NP adverbs.

M Corley, S Haywood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Current models of Human Sentence Processing fall into two broad categories: Constraint Satisfaction accounts, which emphasise the immediate access of the comprehension processes to detailed linguistic information as parsing progresses (e.g., MacDonald et al., 1994), and Syntax First accounts, which hold that parsing is essentially a two-stage process, with initial decisions being made on the basis of a subset of available information (see, e.g., Frazier, 1995). In this paper, we examine evidence from Mitchell (1987) which seems strongly to favour a syntax first position, suggesting that basic lexical information about verbs may have little influence on the early stages of sentence processing. We provide experimental evidence to show (a) that detailed linguistic information is available early, but (b) that bare NP adverbs (a type of modifier) are read surprisingly fast, a finding which appears difficult to reconcile with many current accounts of sentence processing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsM Hahn, SC Stoness
Place of PublicationMahwah
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates
Pages126-131
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0-8058-3581-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • SENTENCE

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