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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

Word-by-word reading times for subject–verb agreement conditions, Experiment 3. Error bars indicate SEM.
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Figure 4: Word-by-word reading times for subject–verb agreement conditions, Experiment 3. Error bars indicate SEM.

Mentions: Figure 4 shows average reading times starting from the region preceding the agreeing verb to five regions following the main verb. No effects were observed at the critical verb (v). The word immediately following the critical verb (v + 1) showed a main effect of GRAMMATICALITY ( = 0.18, SE = 0.03, t = -5.06) and, crucially, an interaction between GRAMMATICALITY and DISTRACTOR ( = -0.21, SE = 0.07, t = -2.98). This interaction was driven by a significant effect of DISTRACTOR in the ungrammatical conditions ( = -0.16, SE = 0.05, t = -2.97), reflecting faster reading times for sentences with a plural distractor relative to sentences with no distractor. No such difference was observed for the grammatical sentences (t < 2).


Interference in the processing of adjunct control.

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

Word-by-word reading times for subject–verb agreement conditions, Experiment 3. Error bars indicate SEM.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Word-by-word reading times for subject–verb agreement conditions, Experiment 3. Error bars indicate SEM.
Mentions: Figure 4 shows average reading times starting from the region preceding the agreeing verb to five regions following the main verb. No effects were observed at the critical verb (v). The word immediately following the critical verb (v + 1) showed a main effect of GRAMMATICALITY ( = 0.18, SE = 0.03, t = -5.06) and, crucially, an interaction between GRAMMATICALITY and DISTRACTOR ( = -0.21, SE = 0.07, t = -2.98). This interaction was driven by a significant effect of DISTRACTOR in the ungrammatical conditions ( = -0.16, SE = 0.05, t = -2.97), reflecting faster reading times for sentences with a plural distractor relative to sentences with no distractor. No such difference was observed for the grammatical sentences (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