Article published in:Linguistics in the Netherlands 2020
Edited by Elena Tribushinina and Mark Dingemanse
[Linguistics in the Netherlands 37] 2020
► pp. 38–52
Incremental structure building of preverbal PPs in Dutch
Incremental comprehension of head-final constructions can reveal structural attachment preferences for ambiguous phrases. This study investigates how temporarily ambiguous PPs are processed in Dutch verb-final constructions. In De aannemer heeft op het dakterras bespaard/gewerkt ‘The contractor has on the roof terrace saved/worked’, the PP is locally ambiguous between attachment as argument and as adjunct. This ambiguity is resolved by the sentence-final verb. In a self-paced reading task, we manipulated the argument/adjunct status of the PP, and its position relative to the verb. While we found no reading-time differences between argument and adjunct PPs, we did find that transitive verbs, for which the PP is an argument, were read more slowly than intransitive verbs, for which the PP is an adjunct. We suggest that Dutch parsers have a preference for adjunct attachment of preverbal PPs, and discuss our findings in terms of incremental parsing models that aim to minimize costly reanalysis.
Keywords: PP attachment, arguments and adjuncts, head-final constructions, self-paced reading, parsing
- 2.Theoretical background
- The present study
- 3.A self-paced reading experiment
- 3.2Materials and design
- 3.4Analysis and results
- 4.1No argument advantage for postverbal PPs
- 4.2A language-specific preference for adjunct attachment
Published online: 27 October 2020
Abney, Steven P.
Baayen, R. Harald, Doug J. Davidson & Douglas M. Bates
Bates, Douglas M., Martin Mächler, Benjamin M. Bolker & Steven C. Walker
Boland, Julie E. & Austin Blodgett
Frazier, Lyn & Janet D. Fodor
Futrell, Richard, Kyle Mahowald & Edward Gibson
Hunter, Tim & Robert Frank
Husain, Samar, Shravan Vasishth & Narayanan Srinivasan
Levy, Roger, Evelina Fedorenko & Edward Gibson
Oostdijk, Nelleke, Martin Reynaert, Véronique Hoste & Ineke Schuurman
Pritchett, Bradley L.
R Core Team
Rayner, Keith, Marcia Carlson & Lyn Frazier
Ross, John R.
Schütze, Carson T. & Edward Gibson
Schütze, Carson T.
Shapiro, Lewis P., H. Nicholas Nagel & Beth A. Levine
Speer, Shari R., & Charles Jr. Clifton
Swart, Henriëtte de