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Psycholinguistics Final Exam Review.docx

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York University
PSYC 3290
Justin Friesen

Sentence Processing and ComprehensionAmbiguity in language arises in a number of ways there are ambiguities associated with the segmentation of speech Some sentences have more than one acceptable syntactic interpretationHomophones are 2 words that sound the sameHeterographic homophones are 2 words with different spellings that sound the sameHomographs are different words that are spelled the same they may or may not be pronounced differentlyPolysemous words are words that have more than one meaning We are faster to make lexical decisions about ambiguous words compared with matched unambiguous words this advantage is called the ambiguity advantage Models of lexical ambiguity o Contextguided single reading lexical access modelaccording to this model the context somehow restricts the access process so that only the relevant meaning is ever accessed o Orderedaccess model suggests that all of the senses of a word are accessed in order of their individual meaning frequencies o The multiple access modelwhen an ambiguous word is encountered all its senses are activated and the appropriate one is chosen when the context permitsIn the dichotic learning task different messages are presented to the left and right ears Participants are then told to attend to one ear and ignore the other Afterwards the participants were asked to paraphrase the attended message it was found that their interpretation was affected by the unattended message that disambiguated the ambiguous phraseMACKAY and GARRETTFOSS Used a technique called phoneme monitoring to show that ambiguous words take longer to process even when they are strongly biased in context In this task participants had to monitor spoken speech for a particular sound or phoneme and press a button when the sound was detectedSWINEY carried out an experiment to test the fact that we need a task that tells us what is happening immediately when we come across an ambiguous word He used a crossmodel priming technique in which participants had to respond to a visual lexical decision task while listening to a correlated auditory material SWINNEYS experiment showed that semantic context cannot restrict initial access When we hear or see an ambiguous word we unconsciously access all the meanings immediately but use the context to very quickly reject all inappropriate sensesAccording to the selective access model prior disambiguated material constrains access so that only the appropriate meaning is accessedAccording to the reordered access model prior disambiguated material affects the access phase in that the availability of the appropriate meaning of the word is increased This model predicts that the preceding context will have an effect on initial access of the ambiguous word in the positive condition but not in the negative or neutral condition In the positive condition the context will lead to subordinate meaning being accessed early According to the autonomous access model prior context has no effect on access meanings are accessed exhaustively in a version of this model the integration model the successful integration of one meaning with prior context terminates the search for alternative meanings of that wordThe context sensitive model is where the frequency and biasing context operate together dependent on contextual strength This is the degree of constraint that the context places on an ambiguous word According to this model the subordinate bias effect that motivated the reordered access model only arises in weakly biasing contexts therefore if the context is sufficiently strong the subordinate meaning alone can become availableSemantic priming has a fast automatic mandatory facilitator component and a slow attentional component that inhibits unexpected candidates Different aspects of a words meaning are accessed overtime with functional information about artifacts becoming available before perceptual informationVerbs argument structure is the set of possible themes associated with a verbParsing is analyzing the grammatical structure of a sentenceThe goal of understanding is to extract the meaning from what we hear and readThe autonomous model of parsing is the initial stages of parsing at least can only use syntactic information to construct a syntactic representationAccording to the interactive model of parsing other sources of information can influence the syntactic processor at an early stageThe central issue in parsing it when different types of information are used in principle there are 2 alternative parse trees that could be constructed We could construct one of them on purely syntactic grounds and then decide using semantic information whether it makes sense or not if it does then we accept the representation if not then we go back and try again this is called the serial autonomous model Alternatively we could construct all possible syntactic representations in parallel again using solely syntactic information and then use semantic or other information to choose the most appropriate one this would be the parallel autonomous modelParticiple is a type of verbal phrase where a verb is turned into an adjective by adding ed oring to the verbReduced relative is a relative clause that has been reduced by removing the relative pronoun and wasRelative clause is a clause normally introduced by a relative pronoun that modifies the main nounGarden path sentences are a type of sentence where the syntactic structure leads you to expect a different conclusion from that which it actually has Complementizer is a category of words used to introduce a subordinate clauseThe idea of the derivational theory of complexity is that the more complex the formal syntactic derivation of a sentence the more transformation is needed to form it therefore the more
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