ERIC Number: EJ1061804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
Semantic Support and Parallel Parsing in Chinese
Hsieh, Yufen; Boland, Julie E.
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v44 n3 p251-276 Jun 2015
Two eye-tracking experiments were conducted using written Chinese sentences that contained a multi-word ambiguous region. The goal was to determine whether readers maintained multiple interpretations throughout the ambiguous region or selected a single interpretation at the point of ambiguity. Within the ambiguous region, we manipulated the strength of support for the complement clause (CC) analysis and the relative clause (RC) analysis of the ambiguous construction Verb NP1 "de" NP2. In Experiment 1, the critical sentences were disambiguated to the dispreferred CC interpretation; in Experiment 2, the sentences were disambiguated as the preferred RC interpretation. Unsurprisingly, processing difficulty at the point of disambiguation was observed only in Experiment 1. As predicted by a parallel mechanism, greater processing difficulty arose at disambiguation when the RC interpretation was much more strongly supported by semantic cues relative to the CC alternative, than when the two analyses were semantically supported to a similar degree. Regression analyses confirmed that the degree of semantic support predicted processing difficulty at disambiguation. The findings provide evidence for a parallel constraint-based parsing mechanism.
Descriptors: Semantics, Chinese, Language Processing, Psycholinguistics, Eye Movements, Phrase Structure, Cues, Regression (Statistics), Prediction, Verbs, Ambiguity (Semantics), Task Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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