Attach Anyway

  • Janet Dean Fodor
  • Atsu Inoue
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 21)


The diagnostic model of garden path recovery that we have advocated in previous work holds that no repair processes are intrinsically costly. Repair costs depend entirely on the difficulty of establishing what revisions to make. The diagnosis process does not require a special-purpose inference system as long as the parser abides by the Attach Anyway principle: when it encounters an input word that doesn’t fit into the current structure, it attaches it in the least unacceptable way. The attachment creates a conflict internal to the phrase marker, which is then resolved in consultation with the grammar by a process we call Adjust. In this chapter we propose a principled constraint on the operations of Adjust: the Grammatical Dependency Principle. We show that this clarifies some previously noted phenomena such as the Thematic Overlay Effect and the differential difficulty of different types of steal operations. The examples we present show that neither raising repairs nor semantic revisions are difficult per se.


Selection Feature Argument Structure Head Noun Thematic Role Input Word 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Dean Fodor
    • 1
  • Atsu Inoue
    • 2
  1. 1.CUNY Graduate School and University Center USA
  2. 2.Kantogakuin UniversityJapan

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