Ambiguity in Psycholinguistics by Joseph F. Kess PDF

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By Joseph F. Kess

ISBN-10: 9027225141

ISBN-13: 9789027225146

The authors current a finished review of earlier learn in ambiguity within the box of psycholinguistics. Experimental effects have usually been equivocal in permitting a decision among the single-reading speculation and the multiple-reading speculation of processing of ambiguous sentences. this article reports the arguments and experimental leads to help of every of those perspectives, and extra investigates the contributions of context and thematic constraints within the strategy of ambiguity answer. observation can also be made at the attainable hierarchical ordering of trouble within the remedy of ambiguity, in addition to seriously comparable concerns like bias, person transformations, normal cognitive innovations for facing multiphase representations, and the inherent changes among lexical and syntactic ambiguity.

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Hence the more the instances of the com­ plexity, the longer such detection or processing would take. Each added ambiguity added another potential reading or constellation of readings for the mind to track, lessening rather than increasing the chances for simple detection. MacKay and Bever's explanation of why multiple ambiguities should take even longer is rather ingenious, given its counter-intuitive ap­ peal. If one delays the interpretation of ambiguous sequences until af­ ter they are disambiguated on the basis of unambiguous context, it may be the case that one must delay interpretation until the total context of the sentence has been dealt with and processed.

These results were, of course, perfectly congruent with the earlier MacKay and Bever (1967) study, and seemed to be point­ ing in a significant direction. Could it perhaps be that ambiguous sen­ tences, like certain other syntactic structures, were inherently more complex and thus required more cognitive processing time ? More impor­ tantly, could it be that this occurred despite the fact that subjects were unaware of the ambiguous status of the sentences in question ? One can easily see how such an interpretation might be a satisfactory ex­ planation for sentences whose ambiguous status is fully known to sub­ jects and which must be processed, but could this be the case for sen­ tences whose ambiguous status is unknown ?

While one can easily see the pitfalls of subject awareness of ambiguity placing a damper on such studies, to rely on single instances of ambiguity allows the un­ reliable interpretations that small data sets allow. Indeed, even the same stimulus sample (two ambiguous sentences) used in this pair of experiments does not inspire generalizability of the conclusions. Part of the difficulty for finding tasks appropriate to the measurement of processing depth and difficulty have been germane to the study of am­ biguity.

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Ambiguity in Psycholinguistics by Joseph F. Kess


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