Advertisement

Parsing as Incremental Restructuring

  • Suzanne Stevenson
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 21)

Abstract

A prevalent trend in modeling human sentence processing has been to account for both initial attachment preferences and reanalysis behaviors with minimal extensions to a presumed set of initial parsing operations. Here, an entirely different formulation of the initial attachment and revision processes is suggested. Rather than assuming that all parsing is (as much as possible) initial attachment, the opposite approach is advocated: that all parsing—even initial attachment—is restructuring. The realization of parsing as restructuring arises from a set of independently motivated computational assumptions within the competitive attachment architecture, a hybrid connectionist model of the human sentence processor. Central to the model is a unique parallel attachment operation that simultaneously attaches the current input phrase, while reattaching previously structured phrases. Within this model, reanalysis is not a separate process or module, but rather a side effect of the primary means of forming syntactic structures. The ease of performing possible reanalyses is therefore determined by the same conditions, such as recency and lexical preferences, that affect initial attachments. Furthermore, independently motivated constraints on the network structure determine the allowable syntactic configurations that may undergo restructuring within the competitive attachment operation. The model thus also provides a computational explanation of garden-path sentences, in which automatic reanalysis is impossible.

Keywords

Ambiguity Resolution Parse Tree Initial Attachment Clausal Complement Garden Path 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abney, S. 1989. A computational model of human parsing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 18, 1, 129 - 144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Church, K. 1980. On Memory Limitations in Natural Language Processing. Master's thesis, MIT, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  3. Ferreira, F. and Henderson, J.M. 1991. Recovery from misanalyses of garden-path sentences. Journal of Memory and Language, 30, 725 - 745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fodor, J.D. and Inoue, A. 1994. The diagnosis and cure of garden paths. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 23, 5, 407 - 434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ford, M., Bresnan, J., and Kaplan, R. 1982. A competence-based theory of syntactic closure. In J. Bresnan (ed.), The Mental Representation of Grammatical Relations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 727 - 796.Google Scholar
  6. Frazier, L. 1978. On Comprehending Sentences: Syntactic Parsing Strategies. Ph.D. thesis, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Distributed by the Indiana University Linguistics Club, Bloomington, IN.Google Scholar
  7. Frazier, L. and Clifton, C. 1996. Construal. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Frazier, L. and Fodor, J.D. 1978. The sausage machine: A new two-stage parsing model. Cognition, 6, 291 - 325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frazier, L. and Rayner, K. 1982. Making and correcting errors during sentence comprehension: Eye movements in the analysis of structurally ambiguous sentences. Cognitive Psychology, 14, 178 - 210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gamsey, S.M., Pearlmutter, N.J., Myers, E., and Lotocky, M.A. 1996. The relative contributions of verb bias and plausibility to the comprehension of temporarily ambiguous sentences. Submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  11. Gibson, E.A.F. 1991. A Computational Theory of Human Linguistic Processing: Memory Limitations and Processing Breakdown. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. Available as Center for Machine Translation Technical Report CMU-CMT-91-125.Google Scholar
  12. Gorrell, P. 1987. Studies of Human Syntactic Processing: Ranked-Parallel versus Serial Models. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.Google Scholar
  13. Gorrell, P. 1995. Syntax and Parsing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hawkins, J.A. 1994. A Performance Theory of Order and Constituency. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Inoue, A. and Fodor, J.D. 1995. Information-paced parsing of Japanese. In R. Mazuka & N. Nagai (eds.), Japanese Sentence Processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 9 - 63.Google Scholar
  16. Kimball, J. 1973. Seven principles of surface structure parsing in natural language. Cognition, 2, 15 - 47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis, R. 1993. An Architecturally-based Theory of Human Sentence Comprehension. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. Available as Technical Report CMU-CS-93-226.Google Scholar
  18. Lombardo, V. 1995. Parsing and recovery. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 648 - 653.Google Scholar
  19. MacDonald, M., Pearlmutter, N., and Seidenberg, M. 1994. Lexical nature of syntactic ambiguity resolution. Psychological Review, 101, 4, 676 - 703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. MacDonald, M.C. 1994. Probabilistic constraints and syntactic ambiguity resolution. Language and Cognitive Processes, 2, 157 - 201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McRoy, S.W. and Hirst, G. 1990. Race-based parsing and syntactic disambiguation. Cognitive Science, 14, 313 - 353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pritchett, B. 1992. Grammatical Competence and Parsing Performance. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Spivey-Knowlton, M. and Sedivy, J.C. 1995. Resolving attachment ambiguity with multiple constraints. Cognition, 55, 3, 227 - 267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stevenson, S. 1990. A parallel constraint satisfaction and spreading activation model for resolving syntactic ambiguity. In Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 396 - 403.Google Scholar
  25. Stevenson, S. 1993a. A competition-based explanation of syntactic attachment preferences and garden path phenomena. Association for Computational Linguistics, 31, 266 - 273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stevenson, S. 1993b. Establishing long-distance dependencies in a hybrid network model of human parsing. In Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 982 - 987.Google Scholar
  27. Stevenson, S. 1994a. Competition and recency in a hybrid network model of syntactic disambiguation. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 23, 4, 295 - 322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stevenson, S. 1994b. A Competitive Attachment Model for Resolving Syntactic Ambiguities in Natural Language Parsing. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Available as Technical Report TR-18 from Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University.Google Scholar
  29. Stevenson, S. 1995. Arguments and adjuncts: A computational explanation of asymmetries in attachment preferences. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 748 - 753.Google Scholar
  30. Sturt, P. and Crocker, M. 1996. Monotonic syntactic processing: A cross-linguistic study of attachment and reanalysis. Language and Cognitive Processes, 11, 5, 449 - 494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Trueswell, J.C. 1996. The role of lexical frequency in syntactic ambiguity resolution. Journal of Memory and Language, 35, 566 - 585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Trueswell, J.C., Tanenhaus, M.K., and Garnsey, S.M. 1994. Semantic influences on parsing: Use of thematic role information in syntactic ambiguity resolution. Journal of Memory and Language, 33, 285 - 318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Trueswell, J.C., Tanenhaus, M.K., and Kello, C. 1993. Semantic influences on parsing: Use of thematic role information in syntactic ambiguity resolution. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 19, 3, 528 - 553.Google Scholar
  34. Weinberg, A. 1995. Licensing constraints and the theory of language processing. In R. Mazuka and N. Nagai (eds.), Japanese Sentence Processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 235 - 255.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Stevenson
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations