Working memory constraints on the processing of syntactic ambiguity

  title={Working memory constraints on the processing of syntactic ambiguity},
  author={Maryellen C. MacDonald and Marcel Adam Just and Patricia A. Carpenter},
  journal={Cognitive Psychology},
We propose a model that explains how the working-memory capacity of a comprehender can constrain syntactic parsing and thereby affect the processing of syntactic ambiguities. The model's predictions are examined in four experiments that measure the reading times for two constructions that contain a temporary syntactic ambiguity. An example of the syntactic ambiguity is The soldiers warned about the dangers . . . ; the verb warned may either be the main verb, in which case soldiers is the agent… Expand
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