Marisa Ferrara Boston

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The surprisal of a word on a probabilistic grammar constitutes a promising complexity metric for human sentence comprehension difficulty. Using two different grammar types, surprisal is shown to have an effect on fixation durations and regression probabilities in a sample of German readers' eye movements, the Potsdam Sentence Corpus. A linear mixed-effects(More)
Eye fixation durations during normal reading correlate with processing difficulty but the specific cognitive mechanisms reflected in these measures are not well understood. This study finds support in German readers' eye-fixations for two distinct difficulty metrics: surprisal, which reflects the change in probabilities across syntactic analyses as new(More)
An incremental dependency parser's probability model is entered as a predictor in a linear mixed-effects model of German read-ers' eye-fixation durations. This dependency-based predictor improves a baseline that takes into account word length, n-gram probability , and Cloze predictability that are typically applied in models of human reading. This(More)
This paper provides an interpretation of Minimalist Grammars [16,17] in terms of dependency structures. Under this interpretation, merge operations derive projective dependency structures, and movement operations introduce both non-projectivity and illnestedness. This new characterization of the generative capacity of Minimalist Grammar makes it possible to(More)
Dissertation Title A computational model of cognitive constraints in syntactic locality. Building natural language inference components for question answering and computer-assisted clinical coding. Implemented locality in a dependency parser to evaluate grammatical and processing effects of islands (in preparation for dissertation). Evaluated probabilistic(More)
Introduction This study differentiates between probability models that lead to garden-pathing and those that fail to do so in an incremental dependency parser. We use Dependency Grammar (Tesnière 1959) to describe sentence structure in terms of word-to-word connections called dependencies. Figure 1 depicts an English sentence where the head word " loves"(More)
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