By Lyn Frazier
At current there exists no empirically-motivated idea of the way perceivers assign a grammatically-permissible interpretation to a sentence. Implicit in lots of investigations of language comprehension is the concept every one constituent of a sentence is interpreted through the perceiver on the earliest available element, utilizing all probably suitable resources of knowledge. quite a few counter examples are provided to argue by contrast implicit concept of sentence interpretation. it really is argued that an particular substitute thought is required to specify which judgements are made at which issues in the course of interpretive processing and to spell out the foundations governing the processor's most popular selection at issues of ambiguity or uncertainty. numerous particular matters are taken referring to how the processor assigns a focal constitution to an enter sentence, the way it identifies the subject of the sentence, how implicit restrictors at the area of quantification are interpreted and the way the id of the content material of a restrictor may well consultant the processor's use of discourse info. Exploiting intuitions approximately most popular interpretations of ambiguous sentences in addition to the result of either previous and new experimental reports, a thought of the popular interpretation of Determiner words is gifted. This paintings explores very important, yet ignored questions in online sentence interpretation and makes an attempt to erect many of the scaffolding for an eventual idea of sentence interpretation.
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Extra info for On Sentence Interpretation
Hence, phrase-internal semantic commitments also disconfmn the predictions of the strong immediacy principle. Why do perceivers prefer subsective interpretations? The explanation may lie with the (Grice an) Principle of Relevance. On the subsective interpretation, the dimension along which the adjective is evaluated is relativized to the context provided by the head noun. 5 In other words, it's possible to treat an adjective as optionally containing a context variable which is evaluated according to a dimension supplied by the head noun, as suggested by von Fintel (personal communication).
5) Immediate Partial Interpretation: Perceivers must choose between linguistically incompatible (word) meanings immediately. (6) Minimal Semantic Commitment: Premature or arbitrary semantic commitments (concerning words) are made only when forced by (5). The principles in (5) and (6) imply that two classes of interpretive decisions must be distinguished. One class, involving semantically incompatible alternative decisions, defines a true choice point: the processor must make an immediate choice regardless of whether relevant or biasing information is available to guide the choice.
Consequently, a more subtle characterization of pronoun processing is needed than is currently available. Matching features of the pronoun with phrases bearing compatible features in the linguistic representation will not suffice to capture the differential behavior of number and gender. This study highlights our current ignorance of the detailed process by which perceivers interpret anaphoric phrases. For the most part, existing studies reveal (at best) what representation of an antecedent or referent is contacted, but not the mechanism responsible for identifYing and accessing that entity.