Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

By Zhiming Bao

This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."


Book Information

   
Sun Image

Title: The Psychological Reality of Grammar
Subtitle: The Theta Principle in Parsing Performance
Written By: Oren Sadeh Leicht
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series
Description:

This dissertation presents evidence for the psychological reality of a
grammatical principle, the Theta Principle. It adopts a grammar-derived
theory of human natural language processing – the thematic parser.

Parsing phenomena such as garden path effects (The horse raced past the
barn fell) and center-embeddings (The mouse the cat the dog chased bit
died) show that whenever the Theta Principle is locally violated, severe
processing difficulty is experienced.

A unique prediction of the thematic parser is provided, along with
predictions of other prominent parsing models. Experiments were carried out
to establish which prediction was borne out.

The experimental paradigm was Magnitude Estimation, used to measure subtle
differences in grammaticality judgments in offline experiments. However,
the method was validated as a technique suitable for real-time parsing
research. It was found that empirical evidence was compatible only with the
thematic parser.

A grammatical account is suggested for the difficulty of center-embeddings,
in contrast to what has been thought about these constructions in the past
fifty years. The explanation provided relies on the discovery that
center-embeddings are instances of strong islands.

Given that processing difficulty in garden paths and center-embeddings is
regarded as a local violation of the Theta Principle, these seemingly
disparate phenomena are united within a single account.

On the basis of the parallel between processing difficulty and the local
violation of the Theta Principle, it is argued that the Theta Principle is
psychologically real.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328230
Pages: 207
Prices: Europe EURO 21.59