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Title:Adaptation in syntactic comprehension: a replication
Author(s):Harrington Stack, Caoimhe M
Advisor(s):Watson, Duane G
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):syntax
adaptation
comprehension
psycholinguistics
Abstract:Language comprehension requires successfully navigating through a great degree of variability that is encountered on all linguistic levels. One hypothesis of how this variability is successfully dealt with is that listeners can rapidly update their statistical knowledge of how likely a linguistic event is to occur in a specific context. This process, called adaptation, allows listeners to better predict upcoming linguistic input. In previous work, Fine et al. (2013) designed an experiment to test for adaptation to uncommon syntactic structures. Subjects repeatedly encountered temporarily ambiguous RC/MV sentences. They found that subjects who had more exposure to the unexpected RC interpretation of the sentences had an easier time reading RC sentences but a harder time reading MV sentences. They concluded that syntactic adaptation occurs rapidly in unexpected structures and also results in trouble processing previously-expected, alternative structures. However, a power analysis revealed that Fine et al. (2013) ran an underpowered study. This thesis was designed to serve as a replication of Fine et al. (2013) with appropriate power. There was a failure to replicate Fine et al. (2013). The findings suggest instead that syntactic adaptation does not happen as rapidly as previously thought.
Issue Date:2016-07-22
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/92980
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Caoimhe Harrington Stack
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08


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