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Syntactic Analysis and Reanalysis in Sentence Processing

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

Abstract

In this chapter I discuss the close links between first-pass syntactic analysis and reanalysis. Throughout, the focus is on the role of structural factors in sentence comprehension. Following Gorrell (1995a), I argue that the parser incrementally applies an important principle of grammar, the principle of economy of representation. This yields a general preference for minimal structure. Further, I argue that structure building operations are constrained by Structural Determinism (SD) and Right-edge Availability (REA). A number of structural ambiguities in English and German are discussed. In addition, the proposal of Phillips (1995) that the preference for local attachment has priority over the preference for minimal structure is examined. I argue that the examples used to support this view do not, in fact, require the parser to prefer local to minimal attachments. The Diagnosis Model of Fodor and Inoue (1994) is also discussed and I argue that such a model does not obviate the need for structural constraints in reanalysis. Further, attention to the details of syntactic structure shows the important role played not only by SD and REA but also by specific properties of the phrase marker in the reanalysis process. For example, the insights of the Diagnosis Model, in conjunction with specific properties of the structure computed, leads to a detailed account of the parser’s inability to correctly resolve English reduced-relative ambiguities.

Keywords

Attachment Site Relative Clause Ambiguity Resolution Sentence Processing Embed Clause 
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

  • Paul Gorrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive NeuroscienceLeipzigGermany

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