Readings

The readings listed below are the foundation of this course, assigned per lecture session.

Lec # Topics Readings

1

Course Overview

Experimental methods: self-paced reading, eye-tracking, event-related potentials, on-line lexical decision, cross-modal priming, brain scanning

Modularity in Sentence Comprehension

Lexical and structural theories of ambiguity resolution in sentence comprehension

The effects of plausibility, context and lexical frequency in on-line processing

Gibson, E., and N. Pearlmutter. "Constraints on sentence comprehension." Trends in Cognitive Science 2 (1998): 262-268.

Buy at Amazon Trueswell, J. C., and M. K. Tanenhaus. "Toward a lexicalist framework of constraint based syntactic ambiguity resolution." In Perspectives in Sentence Processing. Edited by C. Clifton, L. Frazier, and K. Rayner. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994, pp. 155-180. ISBN: 0805815821.

Buy at Amazon Frazier, L., and C. Clifton, Jr. Chapter 1 in Construal. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. ISBN 0262061791.

Trueswell, J. C. "The role of lexical frequency in syntactic ambiguity resolution." Journal of Memory and Language 35 (1996): 566-585.

2

Resources and Sentence Complexity

The Complexity of Unambiguous Sentences

The Dependency Locality Theory

Gibson, E. "Linguistic complexity: Locality of syntactic dependencies." Cognition 68 (1998): 1-76.

Buy at Amazon Gibson, E. "The dependency locality theory: A distance-based theory of linguistic complexity." In Image, Language, Brain. Edited by Y. Miyashita, A. Marantz, and W. O'Neil. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000, pp. 95-126. ISBN: 0262133717.

Lewis, R. L. "Interference in short term memory: The magical number two (or three) in sentence processing." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 25 (1996): 93-117.

Grodner, D., and E. Gibson. "Consequences of the serial nature of linguistic input." Cognitive Science 29 (2005): 261-291.

Chen, E., E. Gibson, and F. Wolf. "Online syntactic storage costs in sentence comprehension." Journal of Memory and Language 52 (2005): 144-169.

Gordon, P. C., R. Hendrick, and M. Johnson. "Memory interference during language processing." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 27 (2001): 1411-1423.

Hsiao, F., and E. Gibson. "Processing relative clauses in Chinese." Cognition 90 (2003): 3-27.

3

Working Memory and Sentence Comprehension

Guest Lecturer: Evelina Fedorenko

Just, M. A., and P. A. Carpenter. "A capacity theory of comprehension: Individual differences in working memory." Psychological Review 99 (1992): 122-149.

Caplan D., and G. S. Waters. "Verbal working memory and sentence comprehension." Brain and Behavioral Sciences 22 (1999): 77-126.

MacDonald, M. C., and M. H. Christiansen. "Reassessing working memory: A comment on Just & Carpenter (1992) and Waters & Caplan (1996)." Psychological Review 109 (2002) 35–54.

Gordon, P.C., R. Hendrick, and W. H. Levine. "Memory-load interference in syntactic processing." Psychological Science 13 (2002): 425-430.

Fedorenko, E., E. Gibson, and D. Rohde. "Shared processing resources for language and math." MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2004 (manuscript submitted).

4

Resources and Ambiguity Resolution

The Serial / Parallel Question

Grodner, D., E. Gibson, and S. Tunstall. "Syntactic complexity in ambiguity resolution." Journal of Memory and Language 46 (2002): 267-295.

Gibson, E., N. Pearlmutter, E. Canseco-Gonzales, and G. Hickok. "Recency Preference in the Human Sentence Processing Mechanism." Cognition 59 (1996): 23-59.

Buy at Amazon Hemforth, B., L. Konieczny, and C. Scheepers. Syntactic attachment and anaphor resolution: The two sides of relative clause attachment." In Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing. Edited by M. Crocker, M. Pickering, and C. Clifton. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 259-281. ISBN 0521631211.

Desmet, T., and E. Gibson. "Disambiguation Preferences and Corpus Frequencies in Noun Phrase Conjunction." Journal of Memory and Language 49 (2003): 353-374.

Traxler, M. J., M. J. Pickering, and C. Clifton, Jr. "Adjunct attachment is not a form of lexical ambiguity resolution." Journal of Memory and Language 39 (1998): 558-592.

Gibson, E., and N. Pearlmutter. "Distinguishing serial and parallel parsing." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 29 (2000): 231-240.

Mitchell, D. C., F. Cuetos, M. M. B. Corley, and M. Brysbaert. "Exposure-based models of human parsing: Evidence for the use of coarse-grained (non-lexical) statistical records." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 24 (1996): 469-488.

5

Experience / Frequency and Ambiguity Resolution

Tabor, W., C. Juliano, and M. K. Tanenhaus. "Parsing in a dynamical system: An attractor-based account of the interaction of lexical and structural constraints in sentence processing." Language and Cognitive Processes 12 (1997): 211-272.

Tabor, W., B. Galantucci, and D. Richardson. "Effects of merely local syntactic coherence on sentence processing." Journal of Memory and Language 50 (2004): 355-370.

Gibson, E. "The interaction of top-down and bottom-up statistics in syntactic ambiguity resolution." MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, (manuscript submitted).

6

Symbolic Computational Approaches to Language Parsing

Parsing Strategies

Shift-reduce Parsing

Buy at Amazon Wolf, F., and E. Gibson. "Parsing: Overview." In Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Edited by L. Nadel. New York, NY: Nature Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN: 0333792610.

Buy at Amazon Jurafsky, D., and J. H. Martin. "Discourse." Chapter 18 in Speech and language processing: An introduction to NLP, computational linguistics, and speech recognition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000. ISBN: 0130950696.

7

Referential and Contextual Issues in Sentence Comprehension

Buy at Amazon Spivey-Knowlton, M., and M. K. Tanenhaus. "Referential context and syntactic ambiguity resolution." In Perspectives in Sentence Processing. Edited by C. Clifton, L. Frazier, and K. Rayner. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994, pp. 415-439. ISBN: 0805815821.

Ni, W., S. Crain, and D. Shankweiler. "Sidestepping garden-paths: Assessing the contributions of syntax, semantics and plausibility in resolving ambiguities." Language and Cognitive Processes 11 (1996): 283-334.

Tanenhaus, M., M. Spivey-Knowlton, K. Eberhard, and J. Sedivy. "Integration of visual and linguistic information in spoken language comprehension." Science 268 (1995): 1632-1634.

Sedivy, J. C., M. K. Tanenhaus, G. C. Chambers, and G. N. Carlson. "Achieving incremental semantic interpretation through contextual representation." Cognition 71 (1999): 109-147.

Sedivy, J. "Pragmatic Versus Form-Based Accounts of Referential Contrast: Evidence for Effects of Informativity Expectations." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 32 (2003): 3-23.

Trueswell, J. C., I. Sekerina, N. M. Hill, and M. L. Logrip. "The kindergarten-path effect: studying on-line sentence processing in young children." Cognition 73 (1999): 89-134.

Grodner, D., E. Gibson, and D. Watson. "The influence of contextual contrast on syntactic processing: Evidence for strong-interaction in sentence comprehension." Cognition (forthcoming).

8

Event-related Potentials (ERPs) and Other Brain-imaging Methods Investigating Sentence Comprehension

Buy at Amazon Osterhout, L. "Event-related brain potentials as tools." In Perspectives in Sentence Processing. Edited by C. Clifton, L. Frazier, and K. Rayner. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994, pp. 15-44. ISBN: 0805815821.

Patel, A. D., E. Gibson, J. Ratner, M. Besson, and P. Holcomb. "Processing grammatical relations in language and music: An event-related potential study." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 10 (1998): 717-733.

Kaan, E., A. Harris, E. Gibson, and P. Holcomb. "The P600 as an index of syntactic integration difficulty." Language and Cognitive Processes 15 (2000): 159-201.

9

Representational Issues in Syntax: Behavioral evidence for the existence of empty categories

Behavioral Evidence that English is Context-free

MacDonald, M. "Priming effects from gaps to antecedents." Language and Cognitive Processes 4 (1989): 35-56.

Pickering, M., and G. Barry. "Sentence processing without empty categories." Language and Cognitive Processes 6 (1991): 229-259.

McKoon, G., R. Ratcliff, and D. Albritton. "Sentential context effects on lexical decisions with a cross-modal instead of an all-visual procedure." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 22 (1996): 1494-1497.

Gibson, E., and M. Breen. "The difficulty of processing crossed dependencies in English." MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, (manuscript submitted).

10

Parallel Distributed Processing Models of Sentence Comprehension

Elman, J. L. "Distributed representations, simple recurrent networks and grammatical structure." Machine Learning 7 (1991): 195-225.

Rohde, D., and D. Plaut. "Language acquisition in the absence of explicit negative evidence: how important is starting small?" Cognition 72 (2000): 67-109.

11

Discourse Coherence

Guest Lecturer: Florian Wolf

Buy at Amazon Jurafsky, D., and J. H. Martin. "Discourse." Chapter 18 in Speech and language processing: An introduction to NLP, computational linguistics, and speech recognition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000. ISBN: 0130950696.

Wolf, F., E. Gibson, and Desmet. "Discourse coherence and pronoun resolution." Language and Cognitive Processes 19 (2004): 665-675.

Wolf, F., and E. Gibson. "Representing discourse coherence: A corpus-based analysis." Computational Linguistics 31, no. 2 (2005): 249-287.

Wolf, F., and E. Gibson. "Paragraph-, word-, and coherence-based approaches to sentence ranking: A comparison of algorithm and human performance." Talk presented at the workshop "Text summarization branches out" at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Barcelona, Spain, July 2004.

12

Prosodic Structure and Sentence Comprehension

Buy at Amazon Ferreira, F. "Prosody." In Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Edited by L. Nadel. New York, NY: Nature Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN: 0333792610.

Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. and A. Turk. "A prosody tutorial for investigators of auditory sentence processing." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 25 (1996): 193-247.

Watson, D., and E. Gibson. "The relationship between intonational phrasing and syntactic structure in language production." Language and Cognitive Processes (forthcoming).

Watson, D., and E. Gibson. "Intonational Phrasing and Constituency in Language Production and Comprehension." Studia Linguistica (forthcoming).