By Joseph F. Kess

ISBN-10: 9027225141

ISBN-13: 9789027225146

The authors current a complete review of previous examine in ambiguity within the box of psycholinguistics. Experimental effects have frequently been equivocal in permitting a decision among the single-reading speculation and the multiple-reading speculation of processing of ambiguous sentences. this article stories the arguments and experimental ends up in help of every of those perspectives, and additional investigates the contributions of context and thematic constraints within the means of ambiguity solution. observation is additionally made at the attainable hierarchical ordering of trouble within the remedy of ambiguity, in addition to significantly similar issues like bias, person adjustments, common cognitive concepts for facing multiphase representations, and the inherent transformations among lexical and syntactic ambiguity.

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This intriguing suggestion initiat­ ed an entire paradigm of research directed at the exact dimensions of whether this can be so, and in what ways ambiguous sentences may in fact show differences in processing. Indeed, such differences had already to 32 AMBIGUITY IN PSYCHOLINGUISTICS some degree been demonstrated for negatives, passives, and other syn­ tactic types. It need not be that such differences were congruent with a derivational theory of complexity, as research was already suggesting; it was sufficiently interesting to note what the differences were and where.

Bringing general principles of speech perception to bear on the ambig­ uity question, they suggest that during an ambiguous clause, both mean­ ings are in fact processed, but that once the clause is over, it is recoded with only one meaning retained. Thus, for complete clauses, am­ biguity does not increase comprehension time; however, experimental tasks which tap the processing mechanisms during a clause, that is, be­ fore clause ending, may find increased processing or comprehension time since both meanings are being processed during this stage.

For example, compare A buck is smaller than a to its unambiguous counterparts A dollar is smaller than a and A fawn is smaller than a In one experiment such orally presented fragments were presented to subjects with their task being to estimate the probability of seeing either of the two possible readings first when hearing the ambiguous fragment; this was to be done independently of which meaning they had actually perceived first. Thus, bias turns out to be the mean subjective probability estimate.

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Ambiguity in Psycholinguistics by Joseph F. Kess


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