Structural change and reanalysis difficulty in language comprehension

P Sturt, M J Pickering, M W Crocker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many theories of parsing predict that the difficulty of syntactic reanalysis depends on the type of structural change involved. However, most existing experimental data show that reanalysis difficulty is affected by nonstructural factors like plausibility and verb bias, whereas claims about structural change are typically based on intuition alone. We report two self-paced reading experiments which demonstrate clear differences in the magnitude of garden path effects associated with different types of structural change. However, difficulty of reanalysis was not affected by the position of the head noun within the ambiguous phrase. We interpret these results in terms of theories of structural change such as Sturt and Crocker (1996). (C) 1999 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume40
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

Keywords

  • SYNTACTIC AMBIGUITY RESOLUTION
  • SENTENCES
  • VERB
  • INFORMATION

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