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Who Cares What Who Prefers? A Study in Judgment Differences Between Syntacticians and Non-syntacticians

  • Gisbert FanselowEmail author
  • Jana Häussler
  • Thomas Weskott
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 48)

Abstract

This exploratory study contributes to the discussion of possible differences in the syntactic judgments of experts and non-experts. In particular, we investigated whether experts in a narrow sense (syntacticians) and experts in a broader sense (linguists not specializing in syntax) react differently to superiority violations in embedded clauses (who wonders what who saw) in an interpretation preference task. The overall result supports syntactic models that deal with superiority violations in terms of a competition between alternative expressions of the same meaning. The effects show up clearly in the judgment patterns of experts in the narrow sense (syntacticians) only, and thus point to the existence of a judgment difference among linguists from different subfields. This can lend support to an explanation in terms of shallow versus deep processing of complex syntactic structures.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gisbert Fanselow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jana Häussler
    • 2
  • Thomas Weskott
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Linguistics, University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Courant-Research Centre “Text Structures,”Georg-August-UniversityGöttingenGermany

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