Effects of Syntax in Human Sentence Parsing: Evidence Against a Structure-Based Proposal Mechanism

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


In 1992, D. C. Mitchell, M. M. B. Corley, and A. Garnham presented new evidence to suggest that contextual information does not influence the parser's initial decisions. They suggested, however, that if sufficient material separates the choice point from the point of syntactic disambiguation, the processor may have sufficient time to revoke an initial structure-based decision in favor of a more contextually compatible analysis, and so avoid the garden path. They described a reading time experiment that they claim is incompatible with an initial context-based decision. In the present article we argue that Mitchell et al.'s contexts were in fact ineffective. We descibe an experiment based on a subset of the Mitchell et al. design, but with differently structured contexts, and present eye movement data that are compatible with the claim that contextual information can influence the parser's initial decisions.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles