You are invited to the Cognitive Science of Language lecture series organized by McMaster’s Department of Linguistics and Languages. The lecture will be delivered in person by Dr. Dave Kush. Dr. Kush is an assistant professor of linguistics at University of Toronto. Prior to joining Toronto in 2021, he was at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is interested in sentence processing, syntax, and linguistic variation.
Title: Prediction in active dependency resolution: Insights from the processing of cataphora
Abstract: Real-time dependency resolution is an active process. Nearly all researchers would agree that active dependency resolution relies, to some extent, on prediction: comprehenders appear to commit to analyses in advance of unambiguous confirmatory evidence. Researchers disagree, however, on how far in advance prediction occurs, what portions of linguistic representation(s) are predicted, and how to characterize the mechanisms that subserve predictive processes. In this talk, I’ll present results from a series of collaborative studies on the processing of cataphora in Norwegian, Dutch, and English to probe the limits of prediction. I’ll argue (i) that comprehenders can make predictions earlier than is commonly assumed, (ii) that fine-grained predictions are made above the lexical level, and (iii) that predictive mechanisms are grammatically faithful. I discuss how these results support a model of prediction as simultaneous inference to the best analysis across multiple levels of linguistic representation.
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- Linguistics & Languages