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Study: people take note of syntactic structure and extract them for use.
- Bock 1986
- Syntactic priming
- Prepositional or double object sentence
- Participants asked to describe pics
- More likely to use syntactic structure they just heard to describe pic
4 Major theories of sentence parsing?
- Garden-path model
- Constraint-based models
- Unrestricted race-model
- 'Good-enough' representations model
6 sentence parsing cues?
- Structural syntactic principles
- Statistical regularities
- Grammatical categories
- Prosodic cues
- Semantic information
- Word knowledge
Structural syntactic cues.
- later closure and minimal attachment
- accommodates for short term memory (limited number of words) by accommodating incoming words iwth partially formed syntactics structures
- Expectations about word order
- English - canonical, Subject-Verb-Object sequence
- Slobin experiment - faster with active sentences because they are canonical
- esp for articles (a, the), prepositions (on, to) and pronouns (me, you)
- 'John hits the girl with the book' - can predict that the 'the' will be followed by a noun
- Prosody - the pattern of stress/intonation etc
- Beach experiment
- the word 'argue' can have different prosody depending on whether it is in a direct object sentence or complement sentence
- Participants heard fragment and asked to complete sentence
- when they heard prosody of DO sentences, they completed it with DO sentence
- for both small and long fragments - showing use of prosodic cues is fast
- whether word was inanimate or animate
- Trustwell experiment
- reading time slower for sentence 'the witness examined by the lawyer...' than 'the evidence examined by the lawyer'
- because both animate nouns can be subject of the verb 'examined'
- Effect of world knowledge violation in sentences is rapid and parallel to semantic violations
- Hagort - presented Dutch participants with 3 different sentences
- 1 was correct about Dutch trains; 1 was world knowledge violation, 1 was semantic violation
- Both WK and semantic violation created ERP at about 400ms (showing this is very fast effect on sentence processing)
Talk to me about neurobiology of syntax
- Involvement of fronto-temporal regions
- ESP left hemisphere fronto-temporal connections
- Frederici: dorsal route = complex syntax; ventral route = simple syntax
- Rilling: LH fronto-temporal connections weak in non-human primates compared to humans