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ERIC Number: ED563151
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 362
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-9783-4
ISSN: N/A
Respecting Relations: Memory Access and Antecedent Retrieval in Incremental Sentence Processing
Kush, Dave W.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park
This dissertation uses the processing of anaphoric relations to probe how linguistic information is encoded in and retrieved from memory during real-time sentence comprehension. More specifically, the dissertation attempts to resolve a tension between the demands of a linguistic processor implemented in a general-purpose cognitive architecture and the demands of abstract grammatical constraints that govern language use. The source of the tension is the role that abstract configurational relations (such as "c-command," Reinhart 1983) play in constraining computations. Anaphoric dependencies are governed by formal grammatical constraints stated in terms of relations. For example, Binding Principle A (Chomsky 1981) requires that antecedents for local anaphors (like the English reciprocal "each other") bear the c-command relation to those anaphors. In incremental sentence processing, antecedents of anaphors must be retrieved from memory. Recent research has motivated a model of processing that exploits a cue-based, associative retrieval process in content-addressable memory (e.g. Lewis, Vasishth & Van Dyke 2006) in which relations such as c-command are difficult to use as cues for retrieval. As such, the c-command constraints of formal grammars are predicted to be poorly implemented by the retrieval mechanism. I examine retrieval's sensitivity to three constraints on anaphoric dependencies: Principle A (via Hindi local reciprocal licensing), the Scope Constraint on bound-variable pronoun licensing (often stated as a c-command constraint, though see Barker 2012), and Crossover constraints on pronominal binding (Postal 1971, Wasow 1972). The data suggest that retrieval exhibits fidelity to the constraints: structurally inaccessible NPs that match an anaphoric element in morphological features do not interfere with the retrieval of an antecedent in most cases considered. In spite of this alignment, I argue that retrieval's apparent sensitivity to c-command constraints need not motivate a memory access procedure that makes direct reference to c-command relations. Instead, proxy features and general parsing operations conspire to mimic the extension of a system that respects c-command constraints. These strategies provide a robust approximation of grammatical performance while remaining within the confines of a independently- motivated general-purpose cognitive architecture. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A