Teaching‎ > ‎

LING 8210 – Introduction to Syntactic Processing, Spring 2018

Intuitively, we understand sentences in "real-time"– we do not wait until the end of a sentence in order to determine its meaning. Instead, we rapidly coordinate our grammatical knowledge, memory, attention, and prediction systems to build syntactic structure "on-line". In this class, we will examine how exactly this happens, by examining primary literature on the topic. Topics will include: grammatical fidelity in sentence comprehension, "syntax-first" theories of sentence comprehension, sources of processing difficulty, active dependency formation, memory retrieval, and explicit computational/mathematical models of sentence comprehension. We will also survey the methods used to investigate sentence comprehension, including self-paced reading, eye-tracking, and EEG (electroencephalography). Students will also be asked to design and run an experiment, including performing data analysis.

There is no traditional homework in this class. Instead, students will be expected to participate actively in discussion, including presenting at least one paper in-class. In addition to writing a final paper (which should include a critical literature review in addition to a novel experiment proposal), we will design, run, and analyze the results (using R) of an experiment collectively as a class [pending IRB approval]. We will devote 20–30 minutes of each class time to discuss the development of this project, including discussing practical and methodological concerns of running a sentence processing study (experimental design, software, statistics, data visualization, proper reporting of experimental findings). Credit will be assigned for performing the relevant parts of this study, and an individual write-up of the group experiment.


Week 1: Introduction [pdf]
Week 2: Methodologies and Experimental Design [pdf]
Week 3: Historical Perspectives [pdf]
Week 4: Incrementality [Kukona et al pdf] [Altmann & Kamide pdf]
Week 5: Syntax-First Parsing, Pt. I [Frazier & Rayner pdf] [Trueswell et al pdf]
Week 6: Syntax-First Parsing, Pt. II [Spivey-Knowlton et al pdf] [Christianson et al pdf]
Week 7: Memory Retrieval, Pt. I
Week 8: Memory Retrieval, Pt. II
Week 9: Active Gap Formation, Pt. I
Week 10: Active Gap Formation, Pt. II
Week 11: Test Cases: Late Closure in Spanish
Week 12: Test Cases: The Semantic P600
Week 13: Test Cases: Resumptive Pronouns
Week 14: Test Cases: Reanalysis as Cognitive Control
Week 15: Presentations

Schedule (Highly Subject to Change):
Week 1: Lewis & Phillips (2015) [Dustin]
Week 2: Optional: Kaiser (2013) [Dustin]
Week 3: Frazier & Fodor (1978); Townsend & Bever (2001). Optional: Kimball (1974) [Dustin]
Week 4: Altmann & Kamide (1999) [Brandee]; Kukona et al (2011) [Dustin] Optional: Frazier (2013)
Week 5: Frazier & Rayner (1982) [Dustin]; Trueswell et al (1994) [Maria]
Week 6: Christianson et al (2001) [Jamie]; Spivey-Knowlton (1993)
Week 7: McElree et al (2003) [Peter]; van Dyke & Lewis (2003)
Week 8: Wagers, Lau, Phillips (2009); Dillon et al (2013) [Borui]. Group Experiment Materials Created.
Week 9: Stowe (1986); Traxler & Pickering (1996); 
Week 10: Phillips (2006) [Annika]; Yoshida et al (2014); Individual Proposal Due.
Week 11: Cuetos & Mitchell (1988); Grillo & Costa (2014)
Week 12: Kim & Osterhout (2005); Chow & Phillips (2013); Group Experiment Participants Ran. 
Week 13: Hofmeister & Norcliffe (2013); Chacón & Phillips (2018)
Week 14: Trueswell et al (1999); Novick et al (2014) [Sam]
Week 15: Presentations
Finals Week: Individual Paper Due; Experiment Write-Up Due.

Altmann, Gerry T.M., Yuki Kamide. 1999. Incremental interpretation at verbs: restricting the domain of subsequent reference. Cognition 73, 247–264.
Chacón, Dustin Alfonso, Colin Phillips. 2018. Not minding the gap: Conditions on resumption in sentence comprehension. Ms, University of Minnesota.
Chow, Wing-Yee, Colin Phillips. 2013. No Semantic Illusions in the Semantic P600 phenomenon: ERP evidence from Mandarin Chinese. Brain Research 1506, 76–93.
Christianson, Kiel, Andrew Hollingworth, John F. Halliwell, Fernanda Ferreira. 2001. Thematic Roles Assigned along the Garden Path Linger. Cognitive Psychology 42(4), 368–407. 
Cuetos, Fernando, Don C. Mitchell. 1999. Cross-linguistic differences in parsing: Restrictions on the use of the Late Closure strategy in Spanish. Cognition 30(1), 73–105.
Dillon, Brian, Alan Mishley, Shayne Sloggett, Colin Phillips. 2013. Contrasting intrusion profiles for agreement and anaphora: Experimental and modeling evidence. Journal of Memory and Language 69, 85–103.
Frazier, Lyn, Janet Dean Fodor. 1978. The sausage machine: A new two-stage parsing model. Cognition 6(4), 291–325.
Frazier, Lyn, Keith Rayner. 1982. Making and correcting errors during sentence comprehension: Eye movements in the analysis of structurally ambiguous sentences. Cognitive Psychology 14, 178–210.
Grillo, Nino, João Costa. 2014. A novel argument for the universality of parsing principles. Cognition 144, 156–187.
Hofmeister, Phillip, Elisabeth Norcliffe. 2013. Does resumption facilitate sentence comprehension? In P. Hofmeister & E. Norcliffe (eds.) The Core and Periphery: Data-Driven Perspectives on Syntax Inspired by Ivan A. Sag, 225–246. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Kim, Albert, Lee Osterhout. 2005. The independence of combinatory semantic processing: Evidence from event-related potentials. Journal of Memory and Language 52, 205–225. 
Kukona, Anuenue, Shin-Yi Fang, Karen A. Aicher, Helen Chen, James S. Magnuson. 2011. The time course of anticipatory constraint integration. Cognition 119(1), 23–42.
Lewis, Shevaun, Colin Phillips. 2015. Aligning grammatical theories and language processing models. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 44(1), 27–46.
McElree, Brian, Stephani Foraker, Lisbeth Dyer. 2003. Memory structures that subserve sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language 48, 67–91.
Novick, Jared, Erika Hussey, Susan Teubner-Rhodes, J. Isaiah Harbison, & Michael F. Bunting. 2014. Clearing the garden-path: improving sentence processing through cognitive control. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience 29(2), 186–217.
Phillips, Colin. 2006. The real-time status of island phenomena. Language 82(4), 795–823.
Spivey-Knowlton, Michael J., John C. Trueswell, Michael K. Tanenhaus. 1993. Context effects in syntactic ambiguity resolution: Discourse and semantic influences in parsing reduced relative clauses. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 47(2), 276–309.
Stowe, Laurie A. 1986. Parsing WH-Constructions: Evidence for on-line gap creation. Language and Cognitive Processes 1(3), 227–245.
Townsend, David, Thomas Bever. 2001. Sentence Comprehension: The Integration of Habits and Rules. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Traxler, Matthew J., Marting J. Pickering. 1996. Plausibility and the processing of unbounded dependencies: An eye-tracking study. Journal of Memory and Language 35, 454–475.
Trueswell, John C., Irina Sekerina, Nicole M. Hill, Marian L. Logrip. 1999. The kindergarten-path effect: studying on-line sentence processing in young children. Cognition 73(7), 89–134.
Trueswell, John C., Michael K. Tanenhaus, Susan M. Garnsey. 1994. Semantic influences on parsing: Use of thematic role information in syntactic ambiguiy resolution. Journal of Memory and Language 33(3), 285–319.
van Dyke, Julie, Richard Lewis. 2003. Distinguishing effects of structure and decay on attachment and repair: A cue-based parsing account of recovery from misanalyzed ambiguities. Journal of Memory and Language 49(3), 285–316.
Yoshida, Masaya, Nina Kazanina, Leticia Pablos, & Patrick Sturt. 2014. On the origin of islands. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience 29(7), 761–770.
Wagers, Matthew, Ellen Lau, Colin Phillips. 2009. Agreement attraction in sentence comprehension: Representations and processes. Journal of Memory and Language 61, 206–223.

Dustin Alfonso Chacón,
Jan 9, 2018, 6:55 PM
Dustin Alfonso Chacón,
Jan 9, 2018, 6:55 PM
Dustin Alfonso Chacón,
Jan 23, 2018, 4:50 PM
Dustin Alfonso Chacón,
Feb 11, 2018, 4:58 PM
Dustin Alfonso Chacón,
Jan 8, 2018, 11:03 AM