Frequency effects in the processing of unbounded dependencies

Marten van SchijndelThe Ohio State University
Willam SchulerThe Ohio State University
Peter CulicoverThe Ohio State University

Abstract

The results of several self-paced reading and eye-tracking studies (e.g., Pickering and Traxler, 2003) have been interpreted to suggest that readers do not use verb subcategorization preference as an early means for completing unbounded dependencies. Subsequent papers (e.g., Arai and Keller, 2013) have hypothesized that this finding may actually be due to the frequency of larger syntactic configurations. This paper utilizes a robust statistical model and finds evidence in support of the latter interpretation: apparent lack of sensitivity to subcategorization preference is shown to be explainable by a confounding frequency effect of syntactic configuration.

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Frequency effects in the processing of unbounded dependencies (101 KB)



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