The preservation of structure in language comprehension: Is reanalysis the last resort

Sturt, P., Pickering, M.J., Scheepers, C. and Crocker, M.W. (2001) The preservation of structure in language comprehension: Is reanalysis the last resort. Journal of Memory and Language, 45(2), pp. 283-301.

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Abstract

During language comprehension, people sometimes have to revise their grammat- ical analysis of a sentence. Experimental evidence demonstrates that such reanalysis often causes processing di culty. We might therefore predict that reanalysis would be disfavored, with the processor preferring not to reanalyze when it had a choice. Three experiments on complement-clause ambiguities investigate the conditions un- der which the processor chooses to reanalyze. We contrast two extreme positions, one where the processor avoids reanalysis whenever possible, the other where reanalysis is not disfavored at all. We also consider intermediate positions, in which the prefer- ence to maintain the current analysis is one factor that a ects ambiguity resolution. The experiments demonstrate that the processor avoids reanalysis even when other factors would support it.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scheepers, Dr Christoph
Authors: Sturt, P., Pickering, M.J., Scheepers, C., and Crocker, M.W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Memory and Language

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