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Chapter 6

Chapter 6

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Todd Ferretti

Psycholinguistics – Chapter 6  Introduction o hear thousands of sentences every day o we forget the exact words people use, but we can remember the general meaning o comprehending sentences involves attention to syntactic, semantic and pragmatic factors o semantic  actors and agents o pragmatic  knowledge about real world circumstances where these situations may happen  Immediate processing of sentences o parsing  first process of understanding sentence is to assign elements to the surface structure  known as parsing  results in an internal representation of the relationships between words in a sentence  represented in a tree structure or phrase marker  parsing can be considered a decision  deciding where the words go in the phrase marker  just and carpenter suggest that these decisions are made instantly  known as immediacy principle  according to this view  access meaning from permanent memory  identify its likely referent  fit it into the syntactic structure of the sentence  alternative view is the "wait-and-see" approach  postpones interpreting word or phrase until it is clear where the sentence is going  immediacy principle more likely as we interpret the words as we hear or see them o parsing strategies  late closure strategy  strategy states that, whenever possible, we prefer to attach new items to the current constituent  example  tom said that bill had taken out the garbage (yesterday)  where yesterday is the late closure, gives us a temporal closure  minimal attachment strategy  states that we prefer attaching new items into the phrase marker being constructed using the fewest syntactic nodes consistent with the rules of language  people prefer shorter sentences o modular versus interactive models  parsing strategies identified by Frazier are consistent with the modular approach to language comprehension  relies on many different modules  Frazier claims that parsing is executed by syntactic module and contextual factors influence comprehension at a later stage  alternative view states that syntax and semantics interact during comprehension  constraint based model is one type of interactive view  simultaneously use all available information in our initial parsing of a sentence  immediate parsing of sentences is influenced by real-world influences  people tend to use minimal attachment principle  eye fixations greater when subject is animate 1 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 6 o working memory and comprehension  people with larger working memory perform better at a variety of complex cognitive tasks  Gernsbacher and Faust provide evidence to prove that larger working memory capacity leads to better comprehension performance  people with worse comprehension skills were found to be less efficient at rejecting the inappropriate meaning of an ambiguous word  people with smaller working memory tended to show garden path effects when reading  Just and carpenter suggest that modularity is not necessary to explain parsing as working memory influences it as well o incomplete or inaccurate representations  people are not typically able to recall the exact sentence, but mainly just extract the gist  some parts of the recall is correct, and some parts are wrong  refer to Moses or Armstrong illusion  Comprehending figurative language o figurative language  language that means one thing literally but something different  George went through the roof  speakers use one unique metaphor for every 25 words  figurative language no longer considered ornament to everyday speech, but rather a powerful communicative and conceptual tool o types of figurative language  indirect speech acts and metaphors (two types)  indirect speech acts  speech acts  I promise  I apologize  I congratulate  any sentence that is a kind of action  locutionary act  illocutionary force of an utterance is the action that is performed by saying the sentence  sentence with an locutionary act is known as a speech act  perlocutionary effect  effect of the utterance on a listener  indirect speech act  speech act which intended meaning does not correspond to literal meaning  listeners have very little trouble understanding indirect speech acts  Can you shut the door? / will you shut the door? and it's getting cold in here, all convey the same meaning  the door needs to be closed  felicity conditions must be met for indirect speech acts to be regarded as sincere or valid  felicity conditions - ability or willingnes
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