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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

Comparison of interference effects observed for subject-verb agreement (region: v + 1),  subject licensing (region: v), and reflexive licensing (region: refl + 1) in Experiments 2 and 3. Error bars indicate SEM. Interference effects (in ms) were estimated as the difference between the means of the two ungrammatical conditions.
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Figure 6: Comparison of interference effects observed for subject-verb agreement (region: v + 1), subject licensing (region: v), and reflexive licensing (region: refl + 1) in Experiments 2 and 3. Error bars indicate SEM. Interference effects (in ms) were estimated as the difference between the means of the two ungrammatical conditions.

Mentions: In Experiment 1, we confirmed that subject licensing in adjunct control structures obeys an animacy requirement, which we then used as a probe for interference effects in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, we directly compared the reading time profiles of subject licensing and subject–verb agreement dependencies. Our results revealed qualitatively similar profiles with respect to facilitatory interference, as illustrated in Figure 6. Specifically, we found reliable interference effects for subject licensing at two points: at the gerundive verb and later, at a reflexive within the same clause, which served as an additional probe of what was retrieved as the subject of the gerundive verb.


Interference in the processing of adjunct control.

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

Comparison of interference effects observed for subject-verb agreement (region: v + 1),  subject licensing (region: v), and reflexive licensing (region: refl + 1) in Experiments 2 and 3. Error bars indicate SEM. Interference effects (in ms) were estimated as the difference between the means of the two ungrammatical conditions.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 6: Comparison of interference effects observed for subject-verb agreement (region: v + 1), subject licensing (region: v), and reflexive licensing (region: refl + 1) in Experiments 2 and 3. Error bars indicate SEM. Interference effects (in ms) were estimated as the difference between the means of the two ungrammatical conditions.
Mentions: In Experiment 1, we confirmed that subject licensing in adjunct control structures obeys an animacy requirement, which we then used as a probe for interference effects in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, we directly compared the reading time profiles of subject licensing and subject–verb agreement dependencies. Our results revealed qualitatively similar profiles with respect to facilitatory interference, as illustrated in Figure 6. Specifically, we found reliable interference effects for subject licensing at two points: at the gerundive verb and later, at a reflexive within the same clause, which served as an additional probe of what was retrieved as the subject of the gerundive verb.

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