Advanced

Processing coordinated verb phrases: the relevance of lexical-semantic, conceptual, and contextual information towards establishing verbal parallelism

Tutunjian, Damon LU (2010) In Umich Deep Blue
Abstract
This dissertation examines the influence of lexical-semantic representations,

conceptual similarity, and contextual fit on the processing of coordinated verb phrases.

The study integrates information gleaned from current linguistic theory with current

psycholinguistic approaches to examining the processing of coordinated verb phrases.

It has been claimed that in coordinated phrases, one conjunct may influence the

processing of a second conjunct if they are sufficiently similar. For example, The

likelihood of adopting an intransitive analysis for the optionally transitive verb of a

subordinated clause in sentences like Although the pirate ship sank the nearby British

... (More)
This dissertation examines the influence of lexical-semantic representations,

conceptual similarity, and contextual fit on the processing of coordinated verb phrases.

The study integrates information gleaned from current linguistic theory with current

psycholinguistic approaches to examining the processing of coordinated verb phrases.

It has been claimed that in coordinated phrases, one conjunct may influence the

processing of a second conjunct if they are sufficiently similar. For example, The

likelihood of adopting an intransitive analysis for the optionally transitive verb of a

subordinated clause in sentences like Although the pirate ship sank the nearby British

vessel did not send out lifeboats may be increased if the ambiguous verb (sank) is

coordinated with a preceding, intransitively biased verb (halted and sank). Similarly,

processing of the second conjunct may be facilitated when coordinated with a similar first

conjunct. Such effects, and others in this vein have often been designated “parallelism

effects.”

However, notions of similarity underlying such effects have long been ill-defined.

Many existing studies rely on relatively shallow features like syntactic category

information or argument structure generalizations, such as transitive or intransitive, as a

basis for structural comparison. But it may be that deeper levels of lexical-semantic

representation and more varied, semantic or conceptual sources of information are also

relevant to establishing similarity between conjuncts. In addition, little has been done to

xi

integrate parallelism effects to theories of the processing architecture underlying such

effects, particularly for studies involving syntactic ambiguity resolution.

Using two word-by-word reading and three eyetracking while reading

experiments, I investigate what contribution detailed lexical-semantic representations, as

well as conceptual and contextual information make towards establishing parallel

coordination in the online processing of coordinated verb phrases. The five studies

demonstrate that parallelism effects are indeed sensitive to deeper representational

information, conceptual similarity, and contextual fit. Furthermore, by controlling for

deeper representational information, it is demonstrated that expected facilitatory patterns

arising from coordination of similar conjuncts may be disrupted. Implications for the

architecture of the processing system are discussed, and it is argued that constraintbased/

competition models of processing best accommodate the pattern of results. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • NA, NA, NA
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
psycholinguistics, sentence processing, coordination, eyetracking, word-by-word reading.
in
Umich Deep Blue
publisher
University of Michigan
defense location
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
defense date
2010-07-22 13:00
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
b59f663a-ec49-485b-8121-6a1d6afc6ca5 (old id 3404900)
alternative location
http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/78841/damont_1.pdf?sequence=1
date added to LUP
2013-03-13 07:36:40
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:14
@misc{b59f663a-ec49-485b-8121-6a1d6afc6ca5,
  abstract     = {This dissertation examines the influence of lexical-semantic representations,<br/><br>
conceptual similarity, and contextual fit on the processing of coordinated verb phrases.<br/><br>
The study integrates information gleaned from current linguistic theory with current<br/><br>
psycholinguistic approaches to examining the processing of coordinated verb phrases.<br/><br>
It has been claimed that in coordinated phrases, one conjunct may influence the<br/><br>
processing of a second conjunct if they are sufficiently similar. For example, The<br/><br>
likelihood of adopting an intransitive analysis for the optionally transitive verb of a<br/><br>
subordinated clause in sentences like Although the pirate ship sank the nearby British<br/><br>
vessel did not send out lifeboats may be increased if the ambiguous verb (sank) is<br/><br>
coordinated with a preceding, intransitively biased verb (halted and sank). Similarly,<br/><br>
processing of the second conjunct may be facilitated when coordinated with a similar first<br/><br>
conjunct. Such effects, and others in this vein have often been designated “parallelism<br/><br>
effects.”<br/><br>
However, notions of similarity underlying such effects have long been ill-defined.<br/><br>
Many existing studies rely on relatively shallow features like syntactic category<br/><br>
information or argument structure generalizations, such as transitive or intransitive, as a<br/><br>
basis for structural comparison. But it may be that deeper levels of lexical-semantic<br/><br>
representation and more varied, semantic or conceptual sources of information are also<br/><br>
relevant to establishing similarity between conjuncts. In addition, little has been done to<br/><br>
xi<br/><br>
integrate parallelism effects to theories of the processing architecture underlying such<br/><br>
effects, particularly for studies involving syntactic ambiguity resolution.<br/><br>
Using two word-by-word reading and three eyetracking while reading<br/><br>
experiments, I investigate what contribution detailed lexical-semantic representations, as<br/><br>
well as conceptual and contextual information make towards establishing parallel<br/><br>
coordination in the online processing of coordinated verb phrases. The five studies<br/><br>
demonstrate that parallelism effects are indeed sensitive to deeper representational<br/><br>
information, conceptual similarity, and contextual fit. Furthermore, by controlling for<br/><br>
deeper representational information, it is demonstrated that expected facilitatory patterns<br/><br>
arising from coordination of similar conjuncts may be disrupted. Implications for the<br/><br>
architecture of the processing system are discussed, and it is argued that constraintbased/<br/><br>
competition models of processing best accommodate the pattern of results.},
  author       = {Tutunjian, Damon},
  keyword      = {psycholinguistics,sentence processing,coordination,eyetracking,word-by-word reading.},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x84aff60)},
  series       = {Umich Deep Blue},
  title        = {Processing coordinated verb phrases: the relevance of lexical-semantic, conceptual, and contextual information towards establishing verbal parallelism},
  year         = {2010},
}