Devoted to human language processing in German, at the same time giving an
introduction for those who are less familiar with Germanic and going into
great detail on the subject.
It convincingly shows the relation between competence grammar and parser,
and thus how theoretical syntax and theories of processing can fertilize
The German language, due to its verb-final nature, relatively free order of
constituents and morphological Case system, poses challenges for models of
human syntactic processing which have mainly been developed on the basis of
head-initial languages with little or no morphological Case.
The verb-final order means that the parser has to make predictions about
the input before receiving the verb. What are these predictions? What
happens when the predictions turn out to be wrong? Furthermore, the German
morphological Case system contains ambiguities. How are these ambiguities
resolved under the normal time pressure in comprehension?
Based on theoretical as well as experimental work, the present monograph
develops a detailed account of the processing steps that underly language
comprehension. At its core is a model of linking noun phrases to arguments
of the verb in the developing phrase structure and checking the result with
respect to features such as person, number and Case.
This volume contains detailed introductions to human syntactic processing
as well as to German syntax which will be helpful especially for readers
less familiar with psycholinguistics and with Germanic.