Why is that? Structural prediction and ambiguity resolution in a very large corpus of English sentences

Douglas Roland, Jeffrey L. Elman, Victor S. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous psycholinguistic research has shown that a variety of contextual factors can influence the interpretation of syntactically ambiguous structures, but psycholinguistic experimentation inherently does not allow for the investigation of the role that these factors play in natural (uncontrolled) language use. We use regression modeling in conjunction with data from the British National Corpus to measure the amount and specificity of the information available for disambiguation in natural language use. We examine the Direct Object/Sentential Complement ambiguity and the closely related issue of complementizer use in sentential complements, and find that both ambiguity resolution and complementizer use can be predicted from contextual information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-272
Number of pages28
JournalCognition
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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