Generalized Monotonicity for Reanalysis Models

  • Patrick Sturt
  • Matthew W. Crocker
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 21)


A common assumption in psycholinguistic theory is that reanalysis is constrained by a preference to preserve certain aspects of the representation built in response to previous input. In this chapter, we discuss this notion of representation-preservation in the wider context of models of reanalysis as a whole, and point out that in order to define a representation-preserving constraint on reanalysis, we must specify not only which aspects of representation should be preserved, but what is meant by the notion of preservation. We propose that the appropriate notion of preservation is that which is assumed in monotonic models of parsing, where structural relations between linguistic elements are updated totally non-destructively from state to state. Previous monotonic theories of parsing have limited themselves to consideration of phrase structure representations. In contrast, we propose a general framework within which one may formulate models which apply the same notion of preservation to other representation types. The framework is discussed with reference to a model which preserves thematic structure.


Relative Clause Ambiguity Resolution Precedence Relation Phrase Structure Tree Initial Attachment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Sturt
    • 1
  • Matthew W. Crocker
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Cognitive ScienceUniversity of EdinburghUK

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