Michael K. Tanenhaus

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Psycholinguists have commonly assumed that as a spoken linguistic message unfolds over time, it is initially structured by a syntactic processing module that is encapsulated from information provided by other perceptual and cognitive systems. To test the effects of relevant visual context on the rapid mental processes that accompany spoken language(More)
Eye movements to pictures of four objects on a screen were monitored as participants followed a spoken instruction to move one of the objects, e.g., ‘‘Pick up the beaker; now put it below the diamond’’ (Experiment 1) or heard progressively larger gates and tried to identify the referent (Experiment 2). The distractor objects included a cohort competitor(More)
The time-course with which readers use event-specific world knowledge (thematic fit) to resolve structural ambiguity was explored through experiments and implementation of constraintbased and two-stage models. In a norming study, subjects completed fragments that ended in the ambiguous region of a reduced relative clause (The crook(More)
Immediate effects of verb-specific syntactic (subcategorization) information were found in a cross-modal naming experiment, a self-paced reading experiment, and an experiment in which eye movements were monitored. In the reading studies, syntactic misanalysis effects in sentence complements (e.g., "The student forgot the solution was...") occurred at the(More)
In two experiments, eye movements were monitored as participants followed spoken instructions to click on and move pictures with a computer mouse. In Experiment 1, a referent picture (e.g., the picture of a bench) was presented along with three pictures, two of which had names that shared the same initial phonemes as the name of the referent (e.g., bed and(More)
While much work has been done investigating the role of context in the incremental processing of syntactic indeterminacies, relatively little is known about online semantic interpretation. The experiments in this article made use of the eye-tracking paradigm with spoken language and visual contexts in order to examine how, and when listeners make use of(More)
Requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael K. Tanenhaus, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Meliora Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA. E-mail: mtan6bcs.rochester.edu This research was supported in part by NIH Grant HD-27206 and by NIDCD Grant T32DC0035. Robbie Jacobs provided helpful feedback at various stages of(More)
Sentences with temporarily ambiguous reduced relative clauses (e.g., The actress selected by the director believed that...) were preceded by discourse contexts biasing a main clause or a relative clause. Eye movements in the disambiguating region (by the director) revealed that, in the relative clause biasing contexts, ambiguous reduced relatives were no(More)
Two experiments investigated the mechanism by which listeners adjust their interpretation of accented speech that is similar to a regional dialect of American English. Only a subset of the vowels of English (the front vowels) were shifted during adaptation, which consisted of listening to a 20-min segment of the "Wizard of Oz." Compared to a baseline(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)