The resolution of the clause that is relative? Prosody and plausibility as cues to RC attachment in English: evidence from structural priming and event related potentials

Zahn, Daniela (2013) The resolution of the clause that is relative? Prosody and plausibility as cues to RC attachment in English: evidence from structural priming and event related potentials. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In spoken language, different types of linguistic information are used by the parser to arrive at a coherent syntactic interpretation of the input. In this thesis I investigated two of these information sources, namely overt prosodic features and plausibility constraints. More specifically, I was interested in how these cues interact in resolving the relative clause attachment ambiguity. Much research has explored the single cues and much is know about the influence that each cue exerts independent of the other. However, the interaction of prosodic and semantic cues to attachment has to date received little attention. Two experimental paradigms were used in 4 experiments, i.e. the method of structural priming and the online method of event‐related potentials. The data from these experiments suggest that the cues interact in a complex way. The results imply that the prominence of the dispreferred cues, the surprisal and the type of revision associated with them play a major role during processing. I propose three processing principles that might account for the results observed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Prosody, Plausibility, RC attachment, Structural Priming, Event-related Potentials
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology > Cognitive Neuroimaging and Neuroengineering Technologies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Christoph, Dr Scheepers
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Daniela Zahn
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-5163
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2014 14:53
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2014 14:54
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5163

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