LINGUIST List 3.212

Wed 04 Mar 1992

Disc: Parsing Problems

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Niko Besnier, Multiple tokens in sequence
  2. Carl Alphonce, Re: 3.194 Lloyd Holliday
  3. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 3.194 Parsing Problems
  4. Jeffrey Martin, Parsing Challenges
  5. Carl Alphonce, Re: 3.194 - Another Parse

Message 1: Multiple tokens in sequence

Date: Sat, 29 Feb 1992 14:50:04 Multiple tokens in sequence
From: Niko Besnier <nikoUHUNIX.bitnet>
Subject: Multiple tokens in sequence

Here's another example for the collection of parsing puzzles consisting of
identical tokens in sequence. It's not as glamorous as some others that have
been presented on LINGUIST, but it has an interesting object complement
structure:

 KEEP COUNTRY COUNTRY

Maybe Midwesterners will have seen this before. It was spotted on a bumper
sticker on the Eastbound Lunalilo Freeway at the Bingham Street exit in
Honolulu at 11:32 Aleutian Standard Time today, on a car, generic American
brand, color: tasteless blue, driver: blonde Haole female, mid-30s.

Niko Besnier
Department of Anthropology, Yale University
Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaii
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Message 2: Re: 3.194 Lloyd Holliday

Date: 27 Feb 92 15:35 -0800
From: Carl Alphonce <alphoncecs.ubc.ca>
Subject: Re: 3.194 Lloyd Holliday

In response to the request for a parse of the sentence

	"The player kicked the ball kicked him"

This has the same structure as the traditional garden path sentence

	"The horse raced past the barn fell"

Try these sentences intsead:

	The player who was kicked the ball kicked Bill.
	(The player kicked Bill. Which player? The one
	 who was kicked the ball (or "given the present").)

	The horse which was raced past the barn fell.
	(The horse fell. Which horse? The one which was
	 raced past the barn (or "fed the oats").)

Carl Alphonce
(alphoncecs.ubc.ca)
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Message 3: Re: 3.194 Parsing Problems

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 15:53 PST
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.194 Parsing Problems

re parsing challenge:

The player kicked the ball kicked him.
The player kicked (complained) (that) the ball kicked him.

Can't see that it is ambiguous but it certainly is hard to parse as
are all such garden path sentences.

And Marslen Wilson is obviously right about the ability to clarify
such sentences in spoken utterances by intonation and pausing.

VAF
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Message 4: Parsing Challenges

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 92 11:48:37 -0Parsing Challenges
From: Jeffrey Martin <jeffmarumiacs.UMD.EDU>
Subject: Parsing Challenges

Here are some more tests for getting one's antecedents straight. They are taken
 from a collection of answers to exam questions by undergrad students (I don't
 remember the title of the book):

Rustum did not reveal his identity to Sohrab because he did not want his father
 to know that he had killed him.

A cheetah is an animal with four legs, some of them quite fierce.

For someone bitten by a dog: put him away for several days. If he has not
 recovered then kill it.

Socratic dialog was speeches between two persons on a certain subject such as
 holiness, piety, love. One person does most of the talking and dominates the
 whole talk while the other person merely assents to what is said whether the
 answer is yes or no. The person that does not talk much is usually shown that
 what he said is untrue and that he does not know what he is talking about.

___
Jeffery D. Martin	| jeffmarumiacs.umd.edu
Linguistics Department |
University of Maryland | Never appeal to a man's better nature.
College Park, MD 20740 | He may not have one.
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Message 5: Re: 3.194 - Another Parse

Date: 28 Feb 92 12:43 -0800
From: Carl Alphonce <alphoncecs.ubc.ca>
Subject: Re: 3.194 - Another Parse

I just realized that there is another possible parse for the sentence

	"The player kicked the ball kicked him"

In addition to

	[ the player [ kicked the ball ] ] kicked him

there is also the structure

	the player kicked [ the ball [ kicked him ] ]

So its an ambiguous garden path - ugh!

Carl Alphonce
(alphoncecs.ubc.ca)
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