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LINGUIST List 18.1766

Mon Jun 11 2007

Books: Psycholinguistics/Syntax: Sadeh Leicht

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>


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Directory
        1.    Rianne Giethoorn, The Psychological Reality of Grammar: Sadeh Leicht


Message 1: The Psychological Reality of Grammar: Sadeh Leicht
Date: 05-Jun-2007
From: Rianne Giethoorn <lotlet.uu.nl>
Subject: The Psychological Reality of Grammar: Sadeh Leicht


Title: The Psychological Reality of Grammar
Subtitle: The Theta Principle in Parsing Performance
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series
Published: 2007
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT
                http://www.lotpublications.nl/

Author: Oren Sadeh Leicht
Paperback: ISBN: Pages: 207 Price: Europe EURO 21.59
Abstract:

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.

Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
                            Syntax

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=26207


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