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All other things being equal the parser favors attaching an ambiguous modifier to the most recent possible site. A plausible explanation is that locality preferences such as this arise in the service of minimizing memory costs-more distant sentential material is more difficult to reactivate than more recent material. Note that processing any sentence(More)
Scalar inferences are commonly generated when a speaker uses a weaker expression rather than a stronger alternative, e.g., John ate some of the apples implies that he did not eat them all. This article describes a visual-world study investigating how and when perceivers compute these inferences. Participants followed spoken instructions containing the(More)
We used the contrastive expectation associated with scalar adjectives to examine whether listeners are sensitive to the distinction between common and privileged information during real-time reference resolution. Our results show that listeners used this distinction to narrow the set of potential referents to objects with contrasts in common ground from the(More)
Two self-paced reading experiments investigated several factors that influence the comprehension complexity of singly-embedded relative clauses (RCs) in English. Three factors were manipulated in Experiment 1, resulting in three main e¤ects. First, object-extracted RCs were read more slowly than subject-extracted RCs, replicating previous work. Second, RCs(More)
The present study compares the processing of unambiguous restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses (RCs) within both a null context and a supportive discourse using a self-paced reading methodology. Individuals read restrictive RCs more slowly than non-restrictive RCs in a null context, but processed restrictive RCs faster than non-restrictive RCs in(More)
Inferring what speakers mean from what they say requires consideration of what they know. For instance, depending on the speaker's level of expertise, uttering Some squirrels hibernate can imply that not all squirrels hibernate, or it might imply the weaker proposition that the speaker does not know whether all squirrels hibernate. The present study(More)
Structural reanalysis is generally assumed to be representation-preserving, whereby the initial analysis is manipulated or repaired to arrive at a new structure. This paper contends that the theoretical and empirical basis for such approaches is weak. A conceptually simpler alternative is that the processor reprocesses (some portion of) the input using just(More)
Are processes of figurative comparison and figurative categorization different? An experiment combining alternative-sense and matched-sense metaphor priming with a divided visual field assessment technique sought to isolate processes of comparison and categorization in the 2 cerebral hemispheres. For target metaphors presented in the right visual field/left(More)
Children often fail to use informative non-geometric features to recover orientation in cases where adults succeed. The present work demonstrates that adults can also fail to use distinguishing information if that information is not encoded categorically. Adults were shown an object being hidden in a corner of a rectangular room rendered with an immersive(More)
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