Syntactic ambiguity resolution after initial misanalysis: the role of recency

Sturt, P., Scheepers, C. and Pickering, M. (2002) Syntactic ambiguity resolution after initial misanalysis: the role of recency. Journal of Memory and Language, 46(2), pp. 371-390. (doi: 10.1006/jmla.2001.2807)

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Although a great deal of research has investigated the factors affecting initial syntactic processing, little is known about the factors that affect processing during reanalysis. To address this question, we report a self-paced reading and an eye-tracking experiment which tested sentences in which there is initially more than one way for reanalysis to proceed, but where this choice is eventually disambiguated by a gender-marked reflexive (like The photographers found the countess who heard the choirboy had really enjoyed himself/herself at the concert in the town hall). The experiments provide evidence that the human sentence processing mechanism obeys a recency preference in reanalysis. This suggests that at least some of the factors guiding reanalysis are similar to those guiding initial analysis.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scheepers, Dr Christoph
Authors: Sturt, P., Scheepers, C., and Pickering, M.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Memory and Language
ISSN (Online):1096-0821
Published Online:27 February 2002

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