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Linguistics Seminar Series -- Prof. Susan Garnsey, UIUC Psychology: "Factors Influencing the Online Resolution of Temporary Structural Ambiguity in English Sentences"

Event Type
Department of Linguistics
Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Languages Building
Oct 11, 2012   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Prof. Susan Garnsey, UIUC Psychology
Free and open to the public.
Lori Moon
Originating Calendar
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics Calendar

Abstract--Many English sentences are temporarily ambiguous. For example, a sentence beginning with "The referees warned the spectators '" could continue such that the spectators were the ones getting warned ("'about getting too rowdy.") or such that they were not ("'might get too rowdy."). The focus of the talk will be on the interaction of multiple factors influencing the online resolution of such ambiguities, including the frequency of experience with particular verbs in particular structures, the plausibility of particular verb-noun combinations, and prosodic phrasing. Studies using a variety of measurement tools will be described, including self-paced reading, eyetracking, and event-related brain potentials. Most of the work has investigated the processing of English sentences by native English speakers, but some recent work asks whether L2 learners of English whose L1 is either Mandarin or Korean make use of the same cues in the same way English speakers do in resolving temporary structural ambiguity in English sentences

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