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Interference in the processing of adjunct control.

Parker D, Lago S, Phillips C - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Recent research on the memory operations used in language comprehension has revealed a selective profile of interference effects during memory retrieval.In contrast, dependencies involving reflexive anaphors are generally immune to interference effects (Sturt, 2003; Xiang et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2013).Our results show reliable facilitatory interference in the processing of adjunct control dependencies, which challenges the generalization that anaphoric dependencies as a class are immune to such effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Linguistics Program, Department of English, College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Recent research on the memory operations used in language comprehension has revealed a selective profile of interference effects during memory retrieval. Dependencies such as subject-verb agreement show strong facilitatory interference effects from structurally inappropriate but feature-matching distractors, leading to illusions of grammaticality (Pearlmutter et al., 1999; Wagers et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2013). In contrast, dependencies involving reflexive anaphors are generally immune to interference effects (Sturt, 2003; Xiang et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2013). This contrast has led to the proposal that all anaphors that are subject to structural constraints are immune to facilitatory interference. Here we use an animacy manipulation to examine whether adjunct control dependencies, which involve an interpreted anaphoric relation between a subject and its licensor, are also immune to facilitatory interference effects. Our results show reliable facilitatory interference in the processing of adjunct control dependencies, which challenges the generalization that anaphoric dependencies as a class are immune to such effects. To account for the contrast between adjunct control and reflexive dependencies, we suggest that variability within anaphora could reflect either an inherent primacy of animacy cues in retrieval processes, or differential degrees of match between potential licensors and the retrieval probe.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean ratings and SE by participants for Experiment 1. Values are on a 7-point Likert scale, with ‘7’ being most acceptable, and ‘1’ the least acceptable. Error bars represent SEM.
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Figure 1: Mean ratings and SE by participants for Experiment 1. Values are on a 7-point Likert scale, with ‘7’ being most acceptable, and ‘1’ the least acceptable. Error bars represent SEM.

Mentions: The results of Experiment 1 are presented in Figure 1. Adjunct control sentences with animate subjects were rated higher than those with inanimate subjects (means: 4.81 inanimate subject vs. 6.09 animate subject). By contrast, sentences with animate and inanimate overt subjects received similar ratings (means: 6.43 inanimate subject vs. 6.40 animate subject). The statistical analysis revealed a main effect of subject ANIMACY ( = -0.64, SE = 0.19, t = -3.40), a main effect of CONSTRUCTION ( = -0.96, SE = 0.18, t = -5.08), and an interaction between subject ANIMACY and CONSTRUCTION ( = -1.25, SE = 0.30, t = -4.08). The interaction was driven by the fact that animacy significantly modulated ratings in the adjunct control conditions ( = -1.26, SE = 0.29, t = -4.32), but not in the overt subject conditions (t < 2).


Interference in the processing of adjunct control.

Parker D, Lago S, Phillips C - Front Psychol (2015)

Mean ratings and SE by participants for Experiment 1. Values are on a 7-point Likert scale, with ‘7’ being most acceptable, and ‘1’ the least acceptable. Error bars represent SEM.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4561755&req=5

Figure 1: Mean ratings and SE by participants for Experiment 1. Values are on a 7-point Likert scale, with ‘7’ being most acceptable, and ‘1’ the least acceptable. Error bars represent SEM.
Mentions: The results of Experiment 1 are presented in Figure 1. Adjunct control sentences with animate subjects were rated higher than those with inanimate subjects (means: 4.81 inanimate subject vs. 6.09 animate subject). By contrast, sentences with animate and inanimate overt subjects received similar ratings (means: 6.43 inanimate subject vs. 6.40 animate subject). The statistical analysis revealed a main effect of subject ANIMACY ( = -0.64, SE = 0.19, t = -3.40), a main effect of CONSTRUCTION ( = -0.96, SE = 0.18, t = -5.08), and an interaction between subject ANIMACY and CONSTRUCTION ( = -1.25, SE = 0.30, t = -4.08). The interaction was driven by the fact that animacy significantly modulated ratings in the adjunct control conditions ( = -1.26, SE = 0.29, t = -4.32), but not in the overt subject conditions (t < 2).

Bottom Line: Recent research on the memory operations used in language comprehension has revealed a selective profile of interference effects during memory retrieval.In contrast, dependencies involving reflexive anaphors are generally immune to interference effects (Sturt, 2003; Xiang et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2013).Our results show reliable facilitatory interference in the processing of adjunct control dependencies, which challenges the generalization that anaphoric dependencies as a class are immune to such effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Linguistics Program, Department of English, College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Recent research on the memory operations used in language comprehension has revealed a selective profile of interference effects during memory retrieval. Dependencies such as subject-verb agreement show strong facilitatory interference effects from structurally inappropriate but feature-matching distractors, leading to illusions of grammaticality (Pearlmutter et al., 1999; Wagers et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2013). In contrast, dependencies involving reflexive anaphors are generally immune to interference effects (Sturt, 2003; Xiang et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2013). This contrast has led to the proposal that all anaphors that are subject to structural constraints are immune to facilitatory interference. Here we use an animacy manipulation to examine whether adjunct control dependencies, which involve an interpreted anaphoric relation between a subject and its licensor, are also immune to facilitatory interference effects. Our results show reliable facilitatory interference in the processing of adjunct control dependencies, which challenges the generalization that anaphoric dependencies as a class are immune to such effects. To account for the contrast between adjunct control and reflexive dependencies, we suggest that variability within anaphora could reflect either an inherent primacy of animacy cues in retrieval processes, or differential degrees of match between potential licensors and the retrieval probe.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus