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Highs and Lows in English Attachment

Grillo, N; Costa, J; Fernandes, B; Santi, A; (2015) Highs and Lows in English Attachment. Cognition , 144 pp. 116-122. 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.07.018. Green open access

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Abstract

Grillo and Costa (2014) claim that Relative-Clause attachment ambiguity resolution is largely dependent on whether or not a Pseudo-Relative interpretation is available. Data from Italian, and other languages allowing Pseudo-Relatives, support this hypothesis. Pseudo-Relative availability, however, covaries with the semantics of the main predicate (e.g., perceptual vs. stative). Experiment 1 assesses whether this predicate distinction alone can account for prior attachment results by testing it with a language that disallows Pseudo-Relatives (i.e. English). Low Attachment was found independent of Predicate-Type. Predicate-Type did however have a minor modulatory role. Experiment 2 shows that English, traditionally classified as a Low Attachment language, can demonstrate High Attachment with sentences globally ambiguous between a Small-Clause and a reduced Relative-Clause interpretation. These results support a grammatical account of previous effects and provide novel evidence for the parser’s preference of a Small-Clause over a Restrictive interpretation, crosslinguistically.

Type: Article
Title: Highs and Lows in English Attachment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.07.018
Publisher version: http://dx.http://dx.doi.org/rg/10.1016/j.cognition...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This manuscript is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Sentence processing; Parsing Universals; Attachment preferences; Relative Clauses; Pseudo Relative Small Clauses
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475681
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