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Heinat, Fredrik
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Heinat, F. & Klingvall, E. (2019). Anaphoric Reference to Quantified Expressions in Swedish. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 48(3), 551-568
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anaphoric Reference to Quantified Expressions in Swedish
2019 (English)In: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, ISSN 0090-6905, E-ISSN 1573-6555, Vol. 48, no 3, p. 551-568Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the results from two studies on anaphoric reference to quantifying expressions (QEs) in Swedish, contributing to the current cross-linguistic discussion on this issue. For English it has been shown that the polarity of the QE (positive vs negative) determines the anaphoric set reference (to the referens set, REFSET, or to the complement set, COMPSET), while for Spanish it has been claimed that while REFSET interpretation is the default, the relative sizes of the two sets (REFSET and COMPSET) also matters. In Experiment 1, a semantic plausibility study. The results showed that for positive QEs, anaphoric reference can only be to the REFSET, while for negative QEs, it can only be to the COMPSET. Unlike in English and Spanish, REFSET continuations were categorically ruled out for negative QEs. To investigate whether the internal differences between QEs could be explained in terms of set size, we conducted Experiment 2, an estimation task. The results from this experiment showed that the size of the REFSET relative to the COMPSET was not a determining factor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York City, NY: Springer, 2019
Keywords
set focus, semantic plausability
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-81774 (URN)10.1007/s10936-018-9618-z (DOI)000467924000001 ()30584650 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85059078868 (Scopus ID)
Funder
The Crafoord Foundation
Available from: 2019-04-09 Created: 2019-04-09 Last updated: 2019-06-03Bibliographically approved
Klingvall, E. & Heinat, F. (2018). Anaphoric reference to quantifying expressions in Swedish. In: Grammatikk i Norden 2 (GRAMINO): Oslo 15-16 May 2018. Paper presented at Grammatikk i Norden 2 (GRAMINO) : Oslo 15-16 May 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anaphoric reference to quantifying expressions in Swedish
2018 (English)In: Grammatikk i Norden 2 (GRAMINO): Oslo 15-16 May 2018, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Both (1) and (2) say that some undefined, small number of students went to the lecture, but the sentences differ in what type of quantifier is used: Några (‘some’) is a positive (upward entailing) quantifier, while (‘few’) is a negative (downward entailing) quantifier (Peters and Westerståhl, 2006).

(1) Några studenter gick på föreläsningen.    some students went to the-lecture

(2) Få studenter gick på föreläsningen.    few students went to the-lecture

When referring back to ‘the students’ in (1) and (2), a difference in which students are referred to can be detected. (1) is naturally followed by (3), which talks about the students attending the lecture (the reference set), while (2) is naturally followed by (4), which talks about the students not attending the lecture (the complement set) (e.g. Moxey and Sanford, 1987). Whereas (3) can also follow (2) (although not as easily as (4)), (4) is only acceptable following (2).

(3) De tyckte den var väldigt intressant.    they thougth it was very interesting

(4) De stannade hemma i stället.    they stayed home instead

Anaphoric reference to quantifiers has been investigated extensively and we know that upward/downward entailment is one factor that influences set-reference in English (see e.g. Moxey and Sanford, 1987; San- ford et al., 1996; Paterson et al., 1998; Moxey et al., 2001; Moxey, 2006; Filik et al., 2011). However, to our knowledge there are no investigations of set-reference in Swedish. As quantifiers do not always behave the same across languages (Nouwen, 2010; Tsai et al., 2014), we investigated this issue for Swedish in a semantic plausibility study where we tested whether quantified expressions gave rise to reference set or complement set interpretations.

The material was manipulated along two dimensions: positive vs negative quantifier (några vs in (5)), and refset vs compset targeting disambiguating adjective (duktiga vs dåliga in (5)). The quantifiers included were: några (‘some’), (‘few’), många (‘many’), inte många (‘not many’), alla (‘all’), inga (‘no’), nästan alla (‘almost all’), inte alla’ (‘not all’).

(5) Några/Få studenter skrev bra på tentan igår och att de var så duktiga/dåligasome/few students wrote well on exam yesterday and that they were so good/bad

förbryllade professorn.confused the-professor

The results were that positive quantifiers with anaphoric reference to the compset were judged as anomalous, and negative quantifiers with anaphoric reference to the refset were judged as anomalous, although there was more variation with regard to the negative ones. As expected, these results are in line with previous studies.

Referenser

Filik, Ruth, Hartmut Leuthold, Linda M. Moxey, and Anthony J. Sanford. 2011. Anaphoric reference to quantified antecedents: An event-related brain potential study. Neuropsychologia 49:3786–3794.

Moxey, Linda M. 2006. Effects of what is expected on the focussing properties of quantifiers: A test of the presupposition-denial account. Journal of Memory and Language 55:422–439.

Moxey, Linda M., and Anthony J. Sanford. 1987. Quantifiers and focus. Journal of semantics 5:189–206.

Moxey, Linda M., Anthony J. Sanford, and E. Dawydiak. 2001. Denials as controllers of negative quantifier focus. Journal of memory & language 44:427–442.

Nouwen, Rick. 2010. What’s in a quantifier? In The linguistics enterprise: from knowledge of language to knowledge in linguistics, ed. Martin Everaert, Tom Lentz, Hannah de Mulder, Øystein Nilsen, and Arjen Zondervan, 235–256. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Paterson, Kevin B., Anthony J. Sanford, Linda M. Moxey, and Eugene Dawydiak. 1998. Quantifier polarity and referential focus during reading. Journal of Memory and Language 39:290–306.

Peters, Stanley, and Dag Westerst ̊ahl. 2006. Quantifiers in language and logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Sanford, Anthony J., Linda M. Moxey, and Kevin B. Paterson. 1996. Attentional focusing with quantifiers in production and comprehension. Memory &

Cognition 24:144–155.Tsai, C.-Y. Edwin, Gregory Scontras, Kenneth Mai, and Maria Polinsky. 2014. Prohibiting inverse scope: An experimental study of Chinese vs. English.

In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 10, ed. Christopher Pin ̃o ́n, 305–322. Paris: CSSP.

Keywords
polarity, set focus, psycholinguistics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78511 (URN)
Conference
Grammatikk i Norden 2 (GRAMINO) : Oslo 15-16 May 2018
Projects
Kvantis
Available from: 2018-10-27 Created: 2018-10-27 Last updated: 2019-01-22Bibliographically approved
Heinat, F. & Klingvall, E. (2018). Quantifiers and Discourse Referents in Swedish: An ERP Study. In: Victor Kuperman (Ed.), Eleventh International Conference on the Mental Lexicon 2018: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada September 25-28, 2018 : Abstract Booklet. Paper presented at 11th International Conference on the Mental Lexicon 2018 (pp. 93-93).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantifiers and Discourse Referents in Swedish: An ERP Study
2018 (English)In: Eleventh International Conference on the Mental Lexicon 2018: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada September 25-28, 2018 : Abstract Booklet / [ed] Victor Kuperman, 2018, p. 93-93Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this talk, we present the results from an Event Related Potentials (ERP) study on the processing of anaphoric reference to quantied expressions (QEs) in Swedish. QEs pick out proportions of possible members of some set for which a property holds. In (1a) and (1b), for example, some or few members of the set of students attended the lecture.

(1)  a. Some students attended the lecture.    b. Few students attended the lecture.

(2)  a. They found it very interesting.    b. They stayed at home instead.

Some and few differ in polarity: some is positive (upward entailing) while few is negative (downward entailing) (Peters and Westerstahl, 2006) and this is of importance when referring back to the QE using anaphoric expressions. The sentence in (1a) is naturally followed by (2a), which is about the students attending the lecture (the reference set, refset). The sentence in (1b), in contrast, is naturally followed by (2b), which is about the students not attending the lecture (the complement set, compset) (e.g. Moxey and Sanford, 1987). While (1b) can in fact be followed either by (2a) or (2b), (1a), cannot be followed by (2b).

Filik et al. (2011) is one of few studies of anaphoric reference to QEs in English using online measures (ERP). They report results for positive and negative QEs separately. Each type of QE shows refset and compset eects, as described above, on the disambiguating word. A larger N400 for compset vs. refset continuations for posivive QEs, and the opposite for negative QEs. However, they do not report any results for the contrast between positive and negative QEs in the compset condition. Since this is a very important condition and since it is known that QEs dier across languages (Nouwen, 2010; Tsai et al., 2014), we investigated this issue for Swedish.

160 experimental items of four sentences each were manipulated along two dimensions: polarity (positive vs negative quantifier, några vs få in (3)), and set (refset vs compset targeting disambiguating adjective, duktiga vs dåliga in (3)). The quantiers included were: några (`some’), få (`few’), många (`many’), inte många (`not many’), alla (`all’), inga (`no’), nästan alla (`almost all’), inte alla’ (`not all’).

(3) Några/Få studenter skrev bra på tentan    some/few students wrote well on the-exam

igår och att deCW var såyesterday and that they were so

duktiga/dåligaCW förbryllade professorn.good/bad confused the-professor

Unlike Filik et al. (2011) we found that positive QEs showed a pronounced positivity over the central region (FCZ, CZ, CPZ, PZ) in the compset condition relative to negative QEs, in the P600 time span (500{800 ms) after the onset of the critical word (the disambiguating adjective,`bad’). A linear mixed eects model analysis (LmerTest) showed a highly signicant main eect of polarity in the central region and the P600 time span above. We interpret this to mean that for positive QEs, a new discourse referent needs to be introduced following compset reference, while for negative QEs this discourse referentis already available (Burkhardt, 2007).

References

Burkhardt, Petra. 2007. The p600 reflects cost of new information in discourse memory. Neuroreport 18:1851 - 1854.Filik, Ruth, Hartmut Leuthold, Linda M. Moxey, and Anthony J. Sanford. 2011. Anaphoric reference to quantied antecedents: An event-related brain potential study. Neuropsychologia 49:3786 - 3794.

Moxey, Linda M., and Anthony J. Sanford. 1987. Quantiers and focus. Journal of semantics 5:189 - 206.Nouwen, Rick. 2010. What’s in a quantier? In The linguistics enterprise: from knowledge of language to knowledge in linguistics, ed. Martin Everaert, Tom Lentz, Hannah de Mulder, Øystein Nilsen, and Arjen Zondervan, 235 - 256. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Peters, Stanley, and Dag Westerståhl. 2006. Quantiers in language and logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Tsai, C.-Y. Edwin, Gregory Scontras, Kenneth Mai, and Maria Polinsky. 2014. Prohibiting inverse scope: An experimental study of Chinese vs. English. In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 10 , ed. Christopher Pi~non, 305 - 322. Paris: CSSP.

Keywords
set focus, polarity, psycholinguistics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78401 (URN)
Conference
11th International Conference on the Mental Lexicon 2018
Projects
Quantifiers and anaphoric set interpretation
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2019-01-21Bibliographically approved
Heinat, F. & Klingvall, E. (2018). Reference to Quantified Expressions in Swedish: an ERP Study. In: Pia Knoeferle (Ed.), Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing 2018: Proceedings. Paper presented at Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing (AMLaP), September 06-08, 2018, Berlin, Germany (pp. 167-167). Berlin: Humboldt-Universita ̈t zu Berlin
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reference to Quantified Expressions in Swedish: an ERP Study
2018 (English)In: Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing 2018: Proceedings / [ed] Pia Knoeferle, Berlin: Humboldt-Universita ̈t zu Berlin , 2018, p. 167-167Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We present the results from an Event Related Potentials (ERP) study on the processing of anaphoric reference to quantified expressions (QEs) in Swedish. QEs pick out proportions of possible members of some set for which a property holds. In (1a) and (1b), for example, some or few members of the set of students attended the lecture.

(1) a. Some students attended the lecture.    b. Few students attended the lecture.

(2) a. They found it very interesting.    b. They stayed at home instead.

Some and few differ in polarity: some is positive (upward entailing) while few is negative (downward entailing) (Peters and Westerståhl, 2006) and this is of importance when referring back to the QE using anaphoric expressions. The sentence in (1a) is naturally followed by (2a), which is about the students attending the lecture (the reference set, REFSET). The sentence in (1b), in contrast, is naturally followed by (2b), which is about the students not attending the lecture (the complement set, COMPSET) (e.g. Moxey and Sanford, 1987). While (1b) can in fact be followed either by (2a) or (2b), (1a), cannot be followed by (2b).

Filik et al. (2011) is one of few studies of anaphoric reference to QEs in English using online measures (ERP). They report results for positive and negative QEs separately. Each type of QE shows REFSET and COMPSET effects, as described above, on the disambiguating word. A larger N400 for COMPSET vs. REFSET continuations for positive QEs, and the opposite for negative QEs. However, they do not report any results for the contrast between positive and negative QEs in the COMPSET condition. Since this is a very important condition and since it is known that QEs differ across languages (Nouwen, 2010; Tsai et al., 2014), we investigated this issue for Swedish.

160 experimental items of four sentences each were manipulated along two dimensions: polarity (positive vs negative quantifier, några vs få in (3)), and set (REFSET vs COMPSET targeting disambiguating adjective, duktiga vs dåliga in (3)). The quantifiers included were: några (‘some’) ,få (‘few’), många (‘many’), inte många (‘not many’), alla (‘all’), inga (‘no’), nästan alla (‘almost all’), inte alla’ (‘not all’).

(3) Några/Få studenter skrev bra på tentan igår och att deCW var så duktiga/dåligaCW förbryllade professorn.

some/few students wrote well on the exam yesterday and that they were so good/bad confused the professor.

There were four lists with 40 sentences from each condition. Each participant (29 in total, results reported below based on the first 13) only saw one sentence from each item, but saw all types of manipulation. In total, each participant read 400 sentences (160 test items, 240 fillers).

Unlike Filik et al. (2011) we found that positive QEs showed a pronounced positivity over the central region (FCZ, CZ, CPZ, PZ) in the COMPSET condition relative to negative QEs, in the P600 time span (500–800 ms) after the onset of the critical word (the disambiguating adjective, ‘bad’). A linear mixed effects model analysis (LmerTest) showed a highly significant main effect of polarity in the central region and the P600 time span above. We interpret this to mean that for positive QEs, a new discourse referent needs to be introduced following COMPSET reference, while for negative QEs this discourse referent is already available (Burkhardt, 2007).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: Humboldt-Universita ̈t zu Berlin, 2018
Keywords
set focus, polarity, psycholinguistics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78403 (URN)
Conference
Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing (AMLaP), September 06-08, 2018, Berlin, Germany
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2019-01-21Bibliographically approved
Klingvall, E. & Heinat, F. (2018). Referential mismatches: complement set reference. In: MISM4TCHES (4-5 October, 2018) Universidad Cisneriana (UAH): Sala de Conferencias Internacionales. Pza. S. Diego. Paper presented at MISM4TCHES (4-5 October, 2018) Universidad Cisneriana (UAH) : Sala de Conferencias Internacionales. Pza. S. Diego.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Referential mismatches: complement set reference
2018 (English)In: MISM4TCHES (4-5 October, 2018) Universidad Cisneriana (UAH): Sala de Conferencias Internacionales. Pza. S. Diego, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this talk, we present the results of a semantic plausibility study investigating systematic mismatches in anaphoric reference to quantified expressions (QEs) in Swedish. Sentences as (1)–(2) have a similar meaning but differ in their use of quantifier: some is a positive (upward entailing) quantifier, while few is a negative (downward entailing) quantifier [1].

(1) Some students attended the lecture.

(2) Few students attended the lecture.

Both (1) and (2) are sentences about students attending a lecture. However, when referring back to ‘the students’, a difference can be detected between the two sentences. (1) is naturally followed by a sentence like (3), which, like (1), is about the students attending the lecture (the reference set, REFSET). (2), on the other hand, is naturally followed by (4), which differs from (2) in being about the students not attending the lecture (the complement set, COMPSET) [e.g. 2]. While (2) can in fact be followed either by (3) or (4), is also a possible continuation of (2), the case where there is a mismatch, i.e. (4) following (2), is actually the preferred continuation [3]. For (1), the mismatch continuation ((4) following (1)) is not allowed.

(3)  They found it very interesting.

(4)  They stayed at home instead.

Anaphoric reference to QEs has been extensively investigated in English and one important factor influencing set-reference is the positivity/negativity of the quantifier [see e.g. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As quantifiers do not always behave the same across languages [7, 8], we investigated this issue for Swedish in a semantic plausibility study where we tested whether quantified expressions gave rise to REFSET or COMPSET interpretations.

The material was manipulated along two dimensions: positive vs negative quantifier (några vs  in (5)), and REFSET vs COMPSET targeting disambiguating adjective (duktiga vs dåliga in (5)). The quantifiers included were: några (‘some’),  (‘few’), många (‘many’), inte många (‘not many’), alla (‘all’), inga (‘no’), nästan alla (‘almost all’), inte alla’ (‘not all’).

(5) Några/Få studenter skrev bra på tentan igår och att de var såsome/few students wrote well on the-exam yesterday and that they were soduktiga/dåliga förbryllade professorn.good/bad confused the-professor

A linear mixed model showed that positive quantifiers with anaphoric reference to the REF-SET were judged as semantically congruent, while they were judged as anomalous with ana- phoric reference to the COMPSET. For the negative quantifiers, the opposite pattern emerged: they were judged as congruent with anaphoric reference to the COMPSET but anomalous with the reference to the REFSET. There was also a difference between positive and negative QEs. The preferred continuation for positive QEs, the matching continuation, was rated as more con- gruent than the preferred continuation for negative QEs, the mismatched continuation. There were also internal differences within the groups of positive and negative quantifiers. More spe- cifically, sentences where the syntactic subject included the positive quantifier några (‘some’) were significantly different from sentences with the other positive quantifiers in the subject: when reference was made to the REFSET, the sentences were judged as semantically congruent to a lesser degree than for the other positive quantifiers. Similarly for the negative quantifiers få (‘few’) and inte alla (‘not all’): when reference was made to the COMPSET, the sentences were judged as semantically congruent to a lesser degree than for the negative quantifiers inga (‘no’) and inte många (‘not many’).

In a follow-up study, we investigated whether the relative size of the sets, in terms of number of members, influence anaphoric set interpretation. According to Zulaica-Herna ́ndez [9], the set with the largest number of members is the one most easily referred to. In relation to our results, this would mean that några (‘some’) should pick out a smaller REFSET than the other three positive QEs, and  (‘few’) and inte alla (‘not all’) should pick out larger REFSET than inga (‘no’) and inte många (‘not many’). To test these claims, we carried out an investigation using a questionnaire where each participant was instructed to write down the number they thought a quantifier corresponded to, given a fixed total number and a specific context, as in the following example [cf. 10]:

(6) There were 100 students in the auditory. QE of them had been there before. How many do you think had been there before? ANSWER:

The results were that några (‘some’) was taken to pick out a significantly smaller REFSET than the other positive QEs, and inte alla (‘not all’) was taken to pick out a significantly larger REFSET than inte många (‘not many’). However,  (‘few’) was taken to pick out a smaller, rather than bigger, REFSET than inte många (‘not many’). In addition,  (‘few’) and inte alla (‘not all’) were taken to pick out REFSET of very different sizes. Thus, these studies show that anaphoric reference to QEs in Swedish behaves as in English when it comes to polarity and also, unexpectedly, that the relative size of COMPSET and REFSET plays a role in the focussing one of the two sets.

[1]  Stanley Peters and Dag Westersta ̊hl. Quantifi- ers in language and logic. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.

[2]  Linda M. Moxey and Anthony J. Sanford. Quantifiers and focus. Journal of semantics, 5:189–206, 1987.

[3]  Anthony J. Sanford, Linda M. Moxey, and Kevin B. Paterson. Attentional focusing with quantifiers in production and comprehension.Memory & Cognition, 24(2):144–155, 1996.

[4]  Kevin B. Paterson, Anthony J. Sanford, Linda M. Moxey, and Eugene Dawydiak. Quantifier polarity and referential focus dur- ing reading. Journal of Memory and Lan- guage, 39(2):290–306, 1998.

[5]  Linda M. Moxey, Anthony J. Sanford, and E. Dawydiak. Denials as controllers of neg- ative quantifier focus. Journal of memory & language, 44:427–442, 2001.

[6]  Linda M Moxey. Effects of what is expec- ted on the focussing properties of quantifi- ers: A test of the presupposition-denial ac- count. Journal of Memory and Language, 55 (3):422–439, 2006.

[7]  Rick Nouwen. What’s in a quantifier? In Martin Everaert, Tom Lentz, Hannah de Mulder, Øystein Nilsen, and Arjen Zon- dervan, editors, The linguistics enterprise: from knowledge of language to knowledge in linguistics, pages 235–256. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2010.

[8]  C.-Y.EdwinTsai,GregoryScontras,Kenneth Mai, and Maria Polinsky. Prohibiting inverse scope: An experimental study of Chinese vs. English. In Christopher Pin ̃o ́n, editor, Empir- ical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 10, pages 305–322, Paris, 2014. CSSP.

[9]  Iker Zulaica-Herna ́ndez. Complement ana- phora in Spanish: Reference and discourse re- lations. Journal of psycholinguistic research, 43(2):449–466, 2018.

[10]  Linda M Moxey and Anthony J Sanford. Prior expectation and the interpretation of natural language quantifiers. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 5:73–91, 1993.

Keywords
set focus, polarity, psycholinguistics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78437 (URN)
Conference
MISM4TCHES (4-5 October, 2018) Universidad Cisneriana (UAH) : Sala de Conferencias Internacionales. Pza. S. Diego
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2019-02-05Bibliographically approved
Wiklund, A.-L., Heinat, F., Klingvall, E. & Tutunjian, D. (2017). An acceptability study of long-distance extractions in Swedish. In: Linda Escobar, VincençTorrens, Teresa Parodi (Ed.), Language Processing and Disorders: (pp. 103-120). Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An acceptability study of long-distance extractions in Swedish
2017 (English)In: Language Processing and Disorders / [ed] Linda Escobar, VincençTorrens, Teresa Parodi, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, p. 103-120Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017
Keywords
experimental syntax, filler-gap
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69334 (URN)978-1-4438-9508-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-12-16 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2018-02-09Bibliographically approved
Tutunjian, D., Heinat, F., Klingvall, E. & Wiklund, A.-L. (2017). Processing relative clause extractions in Swedish. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article ID 2118.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Processing relative clause extractions in Swedish
2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, article id 2118Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Relative clauses are considered strong islands for extraction across languages. Swedish comprises a well-known exception, allegedly allowing extraction from relative clauses (RCE), raising the possibility that island constraints may be subject to "deep variation" between languages. One alternative is that such exceptions are only illusory and represent "surface variation" attributable to independently motivated syntactic properties. Yet, to date, no surface account has proven tenable for Swedish RCEs. The present study uses eyetracking while reading to test whether the apparent acceptability of Swedish RCEs has any processing correlates at the point of filler integration compared to uncontroversial strong island violations. Experiment 1 tests RCE against licit that-clause extraction (TCE), illicit extraction from a non-restrictive relative clause (NRCE), and an intransitive control. For this, RCE was found to pattern similarly to TCE at the point of integration in early measures, but between TCE and NRCE in total durations. Experiment 2 uses RCE and extraction from a subject NP island (SRCE) to test the hypothesis that only non-islands will show effects of implausible filler-verb dependencies. RCE showed sensitivity to the plausibility manipulation across measures at the first potential point of filler integration, whereas such effects were limited to latemeasures for SRCE. In addition, structural facilitation was seen across measures for RCE relative to SRCE. We propose that our results are compatible with RCEs being licit weak island extractions in Swedish, and that the overall picture speaks in favor of a surface rather than a deep variation approach to the lack of island effects in Swedish RCEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2017
Keywords
eyetracking, islands, filler-gap, sentence processing
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69333 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02118 (DOI)000417273400001 ()2-s2.0-85037103683 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-12-16 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved
Heinat, F., Klingvall, E., Tutunjian, D. & Wiklund, A.-L. (2016). Superadditive effects in judgments of relative clause extractions. In: : . Paper presented at Gramino 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Superadditive effects in judgments of relative clause extractions
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Relative clause extractions generally yield so-called island effects (degraded judgments) across languages (Ross 1967), (1). However, Swedish and the other Mainland Scandinavian languages comprise famous exceptions to this pattern (e.g. Engdahl & Ejerhed 1982), cf. (2).

(1) *Those kind of books I know a girl that writes.

(2) Såna böcker känner jag en tjej som skriver.

The origin of island effects is under debate. Sprouse et al. (2012) found superadditive effects in judgments of island violations in English – combined effects greater than the sum of the individual costs for extraction and complexity (island structure). Because no correlation was found between participants' memory span (measured via serial recall and n-back) and the superadditive effects, they concluded that island effects must be derived from violations of syntactic constraints rather than processing limitations. In contrast, Hofmeister et al. (2014) did find a correlation between working memory span (measured via reading span) and superadditivity in a rapid serial visual representation experiment. They also found superadditive effects in fully grammatical, but hard to process sentences, suggesting that processing factors do play a role in superadditivity and hence in island effects.

In our talk, we report on the results from an acceptability judgment experiment that was designed to look for superadditive effects in judgments of relative clause extractions in Swedish, to help determine whether these structures – even though claimed to be acceptable – behave like other island violations with regard to superadditivity. If they do, then this would reduce some of the exceptionality of their status. In the experiment, we investigated the (super)additive effect of clause type (TC vs. RC) and extraction type (long vs. short) on acceptability ratings, and tested whether any such effects correlate with memory span, as measured via an n-back and a reading span task. Our expectation was that the latter test would provide a much better marker of WM than the former.

Det var Anna som anmälde en kille som snattade såna chokladkakor i godisaffären. RC + ShortExt Det var Anna som anmälde att en kille snattade såna chokladkakor i godisaffären. TC + ShortExt Det var såna chokladkakor som Anna anmälde en kille som snattade i godisaffären. RC + LongExt Det var såna chokladkakor som Anna anmälde att en kille snattade i godisaffären. TC + LongExt

Keywords
syntax, islands, extractions, swedish
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53344 (URN)
Conference
Gramino 2016
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-10 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Heinat, F., Klingvall, E., Tutunjian, D. & Wiklund, A.-L. (2016). Superadditivity, working memory, and island effects. In: : . Paper presented at Island Constraints in the Mainland Scandinavian Languages.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Superadditivity, working memory, and island effects
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53345 (URN)
Conference
Island Constraints in the Mainland Scandinavian Languages
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-10 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Heinat, F., Klingvall, E., Tutunjian, D. & Wiklund, A.-L. (2015). An eye-tracking study of Swedish filler-gap dependencies: processing relative clause extraction.. In: Architectures & Mechanisms for Language Processing 2015 University ofMalta: . Paper presented at Architectures & Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP, 3 - 5 September 2015, Malta.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An eye-tracking study of Swedish filler-gap dependencies: processing relative clause extraction.
2015 (English)In: Architectures & Mechanisms for Language Processing 2015 University ofMalta, 2015Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-47014 (URN)
Conference
Architectures & Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP, 3 - 5 September 2015, Malta
Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-11-04 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
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