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ERIC Number: EJ1041607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution
Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v42 n5 p393-411 Oct 2013
Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both offline RC attachment preferences and in online reading time measures, but no effects of syntactic complexity. In Experiment 2 (Korean), syntactic complexity due to greater distance between integrating heads, as measured by the dependency locality theory (Gibson in "Cognition" 68:1-76, 1998), significantly increased the proportion of attachment to NP1. However, no effects of working memory were found. The difference in results between English and Korean is proposed to be due to head-directionality effects. The results of our study support the conclusion that working memory-based accounts provide a better explanation than previous language-dependent accounts for differences in RC attachment preferences. We propose that previous language dependent-accounts of cross-linguistic differences in RC processing have overlooked the interaction between individual WMC and a language's general structure, which is a central factor in RC attachment.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A