Linguistic complexity: locality of syntactic dependencies

  title={Linguistic complexity: locality of syntactic dependencies},
  author={Edward Gibson},
  • E. Gibson
  • Published 1 August 1998
  • Psychology
  • Cognition

Consequences of the Serial Nature of Linguistic Input for Sentenial Complexity

This article presents 2 self-paced reading studies, which explore the hypothesis that dependency distance is a fundamental determinant of reading complexity in unambiguous constructions in English and supports the role of a memory bottleneck in language comprehension.

Integrating Surprisal and Dependency Locality Theory : A Broad Coverage Model

A variant of DLT capable of making broad coverage predictions is proposed, redefine integration cost in terms of surprisal, and found that Surprisal was not a signif-worthy model on the Dundee Corpus.

A Reappraisal of Dependency Length Minimization as a Linguistic Universal

The results show that when syntactically related words are nonadjacent, increased structure building in the intervening region is avoided and the dependency length minimization constraint could arise as a consequence of constraints on the intervening heads and the tree properties such as node arity.

Processing Dependencies Working Memory Load in Sentence Parsing

A dependency-based parsing model where the basic syntactic relations n ecessary for interpretation are established directly as asymmetrical dependency relations b etween lexical nodes reflects important principles of real-time se ntence processing, such as incrementality and predictivity.

Locality and incrementality in the human linguistic computation : A view from processing of the aggressively non-D-linked wh-phrases in Japanese

This study conducted two sentence-fragment completion experiments and one self-paced reading experiment, and found that the constraint from the memory resource is extremely strong.

Probabilistic models of word order and syntactic discontinuity

The thesis proposes a theory of expectation-based processing difficulty as a consequence of probabilistic syntactic disambiguation, and shows that the expectation- based theory matches a range of established experimental psycholinguistic results better than locality-based theories.

Distinguishing theories of syntactic expectation cost in sentence comprehension: evidence from Japanese

Abstract Previous research in the sentence comprehension literature has established that people expend resources keeping track of partially processed phrase structures during the process of

A computational model of cognitive constraints in syntactic locality

The model distinguishes those cognitive limitations that affect locality processing, and addresses the competence-performance debate by determining how and when cognitive constraints explain human behavior.



A computational theory of human linguistic processing: memory limitations and processing breakdown

This thesis gives a theory of sentence comprehension that attempts to explain a number of linguistic performance effects, including garden-path effects, preferred readings for ambiguous input and

Syntactic locality and tree adjoining grammar: grammatical, acquisition and processing perspectives

This dissertation argues that the formalism of Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG) is the appropriate meta-language for grammatical principles and develops a substantive theory of the atomic objects of TAG, elementary trees, and argues for a Condition on Elementary Tree Minimality (CETM) which restricts the domain of an elementary tree.

A Theory of Grammatical But Unacceptable

The theory successfully accounts for the contrasts between over 50 diicult and acceptable constructions from English, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish and is a functional part of a broader cognitive theory of comprehension, NL-Soar, which has been implemented as a working computer program.

Competition and recency in a hybrid network model of syntactic disambiguation

The competitive attachment model of human parsing is a hybrid connectionist architecture consisting of a distributed feature passing method for establishing syntactic relations within the network,

Head-driven phrase structure grammar

This book presents the most complete exposition of the theory of head-driven phrase structure grammar, introduced in the authors' "Information-Based Syntax and Semantics," and demonstrates the applicability of the HPSG approach to a wide range of empirical problems.

Interference in short-term memory: The magical number two (or three) in sentence processing

This article suggests that an interesting range of core sentence processing phenomena can be explained as interference effects in a sharply limited syntactic working memory, including difficult and acceptable embeddings, as well as certain limitations on ambiguity resolution, length effects in garden path structures, and the requirement for locality in syntactic structure.

A Processing Model for Free Word Order Languages

This paper will argue for the second view by presenting a processing model for German that assumes that the competence grammar does not place any restrictions on scrambling, and the unacceptability of some (or most) of the grammatically possible word orders is due to processing limitations.


Abstract The role of lexical frequency in syntactic ambiguity resolution was explored in two self-paced reading studies of ambiguous reduced relative clauses. Recent constraint-based models of

Interaction with context during human sentence processing