Is It All Relative? Effects of Prosodic Boundaries on the Comprehension and Production of Attachment Ambiguities

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Is It All Relative? Effects of Prosodic Boundaries on the Comprehension and Production of Attachment Ambiguities

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dc.contributor.author Snedeker, Jesse
dc.contributor.author Casserly, Elizabeth
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-30T22:11:51Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Snedeker, Jesse, and Elizabeth Casserly. 2010. Is it all relative? Effects of prosodic boundaries on the comprehension and production of attachment ambiguities. Language and Cognitive Processes 25(7-9): 1234-1264. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0169-0965 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1464-0732 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9978128
dc.description.abstract While there is ample evidence that prosody and syntax mutually constrain each other, there is considerable uncertainty about the nature of this interface. Here, we explore this issue with prepositional phrase attachment ambiguities (You can \(feel_A\) the \(cat_B\) with the feather). Prior research has been motivated by two hypotheses: (1) the absolute boundary hypothesis (ABH) posits that attachment preferences depend on the size of the prosodic boundary before the ambiguous phrase (boundary B) and (2) the relative boundary hypothesis (RBH) links attachment to the relative size of boundary B and any boundary between the high and low attachment site (boundary A). However, few experiments test the unique predictions of either theory. Study 1 examines how syntax influences prosodic production. The results provide modest support for RBH and stronger support for ABH. In Study 2, we systematically vary the size of both boundaries in an offline comprehension task. We find that absolute boundary strength influences interpretation when relative boundary strength is held constant, and relative boundary strength influences interpretation when absolute boundary strength is held constant. Thus, our theory of the prosody syntax interface must account for effects of both kinds. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Psychology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Taylor & Francis en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1080/01690960903525499 en_US
dash.license OAP
dc.subject parsing en_US
dc.subject prosody en_US
dc.subject syntactic ambiguity resolution en_US
dc.subject intonational boundaries en_US
dc.subject comprehension en_US
dc.subject prepositional phrase attachment en_US
dc.subject production en_US
dc.title Is It All Relative? Effects of Prosodic Boundaries on the Comprehension and Production of Attachment Ambiguities en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Author's Original en_US
dc.relation.journal Language and Cognitive Processes en_US
dash.depositing.author Snedeker, Jesse
dc.date.available 2012-11-30T22:11:51Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7078]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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