Shravan Vasishth

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Understanding a sentence requires a working memory of the partial products of comprehension, so that linguistic relations between temporally distal parts of the sentence can be rapidly computed. We describe an emerging theoretical framework for this working memory system that incorporates several independently motivated principles of memory: a sharply(More)
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)
Although proximity between arguments and verbs (locality) is a relatively robust determinant of sentence-processing difficulty (Hawkins, 1998), (Hawkins, 2001), (Gibson, 2000), increasing argument-verb distance can also facilitate processing (Konieczny, 2000). We present two self-paced reading (SPR) experiments involving Hindi that provide further evidence(More)
A central question in online human sentence comprehension is, "How are linguistic relations established between different parts of a sentence?" Previous work has shown that this dependency resolution process can be computationally expensive, but the underlying reasons for this are still unclear. This article argues that dependency resolution is mediated by(More)
We present a detailed process theory of the moment-by-moment working-memory retrievals and associated control structure that subserve sentence comprehension. The theory is derived from the application of independently motivated principles of memory and cognitive skill to the specialized task of sentence parsing. The resulting theory construes sentence(More)
A production study is presented that investigates the effects of word order and information structural context on the prosodic realization of declarative sentences in Hindi. Previous work on Hindi intonation has shown that: (i) non-final content words bear rising pitch accents (Moore 1965, Dyrud 2001, Nair 1999); (ii) focused constituents show greater pitch(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’ eyefixations for two distinct difficulty metrics: surprisal, which reflects the change in probabilities across syntactic analyses as new words(More)
Event-related brain potentials (ERP) are important neural correlates of cognitive processes. In the domain of language processing, the N400 and P600 reflect lexical-semantic integration and syntactic processing problems, respectively. We suggest an interpretation of these markers in terms of dynamical system theory and present two nonlinear dynamical models(More)
Five experiments present the first piece of evidence from online processing (self-paced reading and eyetracking) that omitting the middle verb in a double center embedding yields an illusion of grammaticality in English, but not in German. One commonly accepted explanation for the English illusion – based on data from offline acceptability ratings – is the(More)