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Learning a language by parameter setting is almost certainly less onerous than composing a grammar from scratch. But recent computational modeling of how parameters are set has shown that it is not at all the simple mechanical process sometimes imagined. Sentences must be parsed to discover the properties that select between parameter values. But the(More)
Recent investigations of sentence processing have used the cross-modal lexical decision task to show that the antecedent of a phonologically empty noun phrase (specifically, WH-trace) is reactivated at the trace position. G. McKoon, R. Ratcliff, and G. Ward (1994) claimed that (a) a design feature concerning the choice of related and unrelated targets is a(More)
The symptom of a garden path in sentence processing is an important anomaly in the input string. This anomaly signals to the parser that an error has occurred, and provides cues for how to repair it. Anomaly detection is thus an important aspect of sentence processing. In the present study, we investigated how the parser responds to unambiguous sentences(More)
Once, sentence processing research set aside prosody in order to focus on syntactic and semantic processing. Experimental sentences were mostly presented visually, often without prosodic markers such as commas. Now that we have made some progress by this 'divide and conquer' approach, and now that the technology for working on speech has improved, it may be(More)
Recent challenges to Chomsky's poverty of the stimulus thesis for language acquisition suggest that children's primary data may carry "indirect evidence" about linguistic constructions despite containing no instances of them. Indirect evidence is claimed to suffice for grammar acquisition, without need for innate knowledge. This article reports experiments(More)
Three experiments were conducted to investigate the relative timing of syntactic and pragmatic anomaly detection during sentence processing. Experiment 1 was an eye movement study. Experiment 2 employed a dual-task paradigm with compressed speech input, to put the processing routines under time pressure. Experiment 3 used compressed speech input in an(More)
1. The research project * Our research group has built a research environment for testing models of syntactic parameter setting. We have created a domain of 3,072 languages with up to 1,432 sentences in each, defined by a set of Universal Grammar (UG) rules and 13 (so far) binary parameters. The languages resemble human languages in many respects, though(More)