Ghent University Academic Bibliography

Advanced

Underspecification of syntactic ambiguities: Evidence from self-paced reading

Benjamin Swets, Timothy Desmet UGent, Charles Clifron and Fernanda Ferreira (2008) MEMORY & COGNITION. 36(1). p.201-216
abstract
Syntactically ambiguous sentences are sometimes read faster than disambiguated strings. Models of parsing have explained this tendency by appealing either to a race in the construction of alternative structures or to reanalysis. However, it is also possible that readers of ambiguous sentences save time by strategically underspecifying interpretations of ambiguous attachments. In a self-paced reading study, participants viewed sentences with relative clauses that could attach to one of two sites. Type of question was also manipulated between participants in order to test whether goals can influence reading/parsing strategies. The experiment revealed an ambiguity advantage in reading times, but only when participants expected superficial comprehension questions. When participants expected queries about relative clause interpretation, disambiguating regions were inspected with more care, and the ambiguity advantage was attenuated. However, even when participants expected relative clause queries, question-answering times suggested underspecified representations of ambiguous relative clause attachments. The results support the construal and "good-enough" models of parsing.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
keyword
ATTACHMENT, RESOLUTION, WORKING-MEMORY, BRIDGING INFERENCES, SENTENCE COMPREHENSION, CONSTRAINTS, REANALYSIS, DISCOURSE, GOOD-ENOUGH REPRESENTATIONS, LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION
journal title
MEMORY & COGNITION
Mem. Cogn.
volume
36
issue
1
pages
201 - 216
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000257228500019
JCR category
PSYCHOLOGY, EXPERIMENTAL
JCR impact factor
1.44 (2008)
JCR rank
41/71 (2008)
JCR quartile
4 (2008)
ISSN
0090-502X
DOI
10.3758/MC.36.1.201
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
id
747546
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-747546
date created
2009-09-09 09:06:47
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:41:03
@article{747546,
  abstract     = {Syntactically ambiguous sentences are sometimes read faster than disambiguated strings. Models of parsing have explained this tendency by appealing either to a race in the construction of alternative structures or to reanalysis. However, it is also possible that readers of ambiguous sentences save time by strategically underspecifying interpretations of ambiguous attachments. In a self-paced reading study, participants viewed sentences with relative clauses that could attach to one of two sites. Type of question was also manipulated between participants in order to test whether goals can influence reading/parsing strategies. The experiment revealed an ambiguity advantage in reading times, but only when participants expected superficial comprehension questions. When participants expected queries about relative clause interpretation, disambiguating regions were inspected with more care, and the ambiguity advantage was attenuated. However, even when participants expected relative clause queries, question-answering times suggested underspecified representations of ambiguous relative clause attachments. The results support the construal and {\textacutedbl}good-enough{\textacutedbl} models of parsing.},
  author       = {Swets, Benjamin and Desmet, Timothy and Clifron, Charles and Ferreira, Fernanda},
  issn         = {0090-502X},
  journal      = {MEMORY \& COGNITION},
  keyword      = {ATTACHMENT,RESOLUTION,WORKING-MEMORY,BRIDGING INFERENCES,SENTENCE COMPREHENSION,CONSTRAINTS,REANALYSIS,DISCOURSE,GOOD-ENOUGH REPRESENTATIONS,LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {201--216},
  title        = {Underspecification of syntactic ambiguities: Evidence from self-paced reading},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/MC.36.1.201},
  volume       = {36},
  year         = {2008},
}

Chicago
Swets, Benjamin, Timothy Desmet, Charles Clifron, and Fernanda Ferreira. 2008. “Underspecification of Syntactic Ambiguities: Evidence from Self-paced Reading.” Memory & Cognition 36 (1): 201–216.
APA
Swets, B., Desmet, T., Clifron, C., & Ferreira, F. (2008). Underspecification of syntactic ambiguities: Evidence from self-paced reading. MEMORY & COGNITION, 36(1), 201–216.
Vancouver
1.
Swets B, Desmet T, Clifron C, Ferreira F. Underspecification of syntactic ambiguities: Evidence from self-paced reading. MEMORY & COGNITION. 2008;36(1):201–16.
MLA
Swets, Benjamin, Timothy Desmet, Charles Clifron, et al. “Underspecification of Syntactic Ambiguities: Evidence from Self-paced Reading.” MEMORY & COGNITION 36.1 (2008): 201–216. Print.