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Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory PDF Author: Elaine J. Francis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192654322
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 304

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Book Description
This book examines a challenging problem at the intersection of theoretical linguistics and the psychology of language: the interpretation of gradient judgments of sentence acceptability in relation to theories of grammatical knowledge. Acceptability judgments constitute the primary source of data on which such theories have been built, despite being susceptible to various extra-grammatical factors. Through a review of experimental and corpus-based research on a variety of syntactic phenomena and an in-depth examination of two case studies, Elaine J. Francis argues for two main positions. The first is that converging evidence from online comprehension tasks, elicited production tasks, and corpora of naturally-occurring discourse can help to determine the sources of variation in acceptability judgments and to narrow down the range of plausible theoretical interpretations. The second is that the interpretation of judgment data depends crucially on the theoretical commitments and assumptions made, especially with respect to the nature of the syntax-semantics interface and the choice of either a categorical or a gradient notion of grammaticality. The theoretical frameworks considered in this book include derivational theories (e.g. Minimalism, Principles and Parameters), constraint-based theories (e.g. Sign-based Construction Grammar, Simpler Syntax), competition-based theories (e.g. Stochastic Optimality Theory, Decathlon Model), and usage-based approaches. The volume shows that while acceptability judgment data are typically compatible with the assumptions of various theoretical frameworks, some gradient phenomena are best captured within frameworks that permit soft constraints-non-categorical grammatical constraints that encode the conventional preferences of language users.

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory PDF Author: Elaine J. Francis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192654322
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 304

View

Book Description
This book examines a challenging problem at the intersection of theoretical linguistics and the psychology of language: the interpretation of gradient judgments of sentence acceptability in relation to theories of grammatical knowledge. Acceptability judgments constitute the primary source of data on which such theories have been built, despite being susceptible to various extra-grammatical factors. Through a review of experimental and corpus-based research on a variety of syntactic phenomena and an in-depth examination of two case studies, Elaine J. Francis argues for two main positions. The first is that converging evidence from online comprehension tasks, elicited production tasks, and corpora of naturally-occurring discourse can help to determine the sources of variation in acceptability judgments and to narrow down the range of plausible theoretical interpretations. The second is that the interpretation of judgment data depends crucially on the theoretical commitments and assumptions made, especially with respect to the nature of the syntax-semantics interface and the choice of either a categorical or a gradient notion of grammaticality. The theoretical frameworks considered in this book include derivational theories (e.g. Minimalism, Principles and Parameters), constraint-based theories (e.g. Sign-based Construction Grammar, Simpler Syntax), competition-based theories (e.g. Stochastic Optimality Theory, Decathlon Model), and usage-based approaches. The volume shows that while acceptability judgment data are typically compatible with the assumptions of various theoretical frameworks, some gradient phenomena are best captured within frameworks that permit soft constraints-non-categorical grammatical constraints that encode the conventional preferences of language users.

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory PDF Author: Elaine J. Francis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192898949
Category :
Languages : en
Pages : 288

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Book Description
This volume examines the interpretation of gradient judgments of sentence acceptability in relation to theories of grammatical knowledge. It uses experimental and corpus-based research, along with a range of case studies, to argue for a new approach to this crucial problem.

Gradience in Grammar

Gradience in Grammar PDF Author: Frank Keller
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category :
Languages : en
Pages :

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Book Description
This thesis deals with gradience in grammar, i.e., with the fact that some linguistic structures are not fully acceptable or unacceptable, but receive gradient linguistic judgments. The importance of gradient data for linguistic theory has been recognized at least since Chomsky's Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory. However, systematic empirical studies of gradience are largely absent, and none of the major theoretical frameworks is designed to account for gradient data. The present thesis addresses both questions. In the experimental part of the thesis (Chapters 3-5), we present a set of magnitude estimation experiments investigating gradience in grammar. The experiments deal with unaccusativity/unergativity, extraction, binding, word order, and gapping. They cover all major modules of syntactic theory, and draw on data from three languages (English, German, and Greek). In the theoretical part of thesis (Chapters 6 and 7), we use these experimental results to motivate a model of gradience in grammar. This model is a variant of Optimality Theory, and explains gradience in terms of the competition of ranked, violable linguistic constraints. The experimental studies in this thesis deliver two main results. First, they demonstrate that an experimental investigation of gradient phenomena can advance linguistic theory by uncovering acceptability distinctions that have gone unnoticed in the theoretical literature. An experimental approach can also settle data disputes that result from the informal data collection techniques typically employed in theoretical linguistics, which are not well-suited to investigate the behavior of gradient linguistic data. Second, we identify a set of general properties of gradient data that seem to be valid for a wide range of syntactic phenomena and across languages. (a) Linguistic constraints are ranked, in the sense that some constraint violations lead to a greater degree of unacceptability than others. (b) Constraint violations are cumulative, i.e., the degree of unacceptability of a structure increases with the number of constraints it violates. (c) Two constraint types can be distinguished experimentally: soft constraints lead to mild unacceptability when violated, while hard constraint violations trigger serious unacceptability. (d) The hard/soft distinction can be diagnosed by testing for effects from the linguistic context; context effects only occur for soft constraints; hard constraints are immune to contextual variation. (e) The soft/hard distinction is crosslinguistically stable. In the theoretical part of the thesis, we develop a model of gradient grammaticality that borrows central concepts from Optimality Theory, a competition-based grammatical framework. We propose an extension, Linear Optimality Theory, motivated by our experimental results on constraint ranking and the cumulativity of violations. The core assumption of our model is that the relative grammaticality of a structure is determined by the weighted sum of the violations it incurs. We show that the parameters of the model (the constraint weights), can be estimated using the least square method, a standard model fitting algorithm. Furthermore, we prove that standard Optimality Theory is a special case of Linear Optimality Theory. To test the validity of Linear Optimality Theory, we use it to model data from the experimental part of the thesis, including data on extraction, gapping, and word order. For all data sets, a high model fit is obtained and it is demonstrated that the model's predictions generalize to unseen data. On a theoretical level, our modeling results show that certain properties of gradient data (the hard/soft distinction, context effects, and crosslinguistic effects) do not have to be stipulated, but follow from core assumptions of Linear Optimality Theory.

Theory and Experiment in Syntax

Theory and Experiment in Syntax PDF Author: Grant Goodall
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1000516512
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 336

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Book Description
This book reflects on key questions of enduring interest on the nature of syntax, bringing together Grant Goodall’s previous publications and new work exploring how syntactic representations are structured and the affordances of experimental techniques in studying them. The volume sheds light on central issues in the theory of syntax while also elucidating the methods of data collection which inform them. Featuring Goodall’s previous studies of linguistic phenomena in English, Spanish, and Chinese, and complemented by a new introduction and material specific to this volume, the book is divided into four sections around fundamental strands of syntactic theory. The four parts explore the dimensionality of syntactic representations; the relationship between syntactic structure and predicate-argument structure; interactions between subjects and wh-phrases in questions; and more detailed investigations of wh-dependencies but from a more overtly experimental perspective. Taken together, the volume reinforces the connections between these different aspects of syntax by highlighting their respective roles in defining what syntactic objects look like and how the grammar operates on them. This book will be a valuable resource for scholars in linguistics, particularly those with an interest in syntax, psycholinguistics, and Romance linguistics.

Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar

Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar PDF Author: Stefan Müller
Publisher: Language Science Press
ISBN: 3961102554
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 1632

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Book Description
Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) is a constraint-based or declarative approach to linguistic knowledge, which analyses all descriptive levels (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics) with feature value pairs, structure sharing, and relational constraints. In syntax it assumes that expressions have a single relatively simple constituent structure. This volume provides a state-of-the-art introduction to the framework. Various chapters discuss basic assumptions and formal foundations, describe the evolution of the framework, and go into the details of the main syntactic phenomena. Further chapters are devoted to non-syntactic levels of description. The book also considers related fields and research areas (gesture, sign languages, computational linguistics) and includes chapters comparing HPSG with other frameworks (Lexical Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, Construction Grammar, Dependency Grammar, and Minimalism).

The Cambridge Handbook of Working Memory and Language

The Cambridge Handbook of Working Memory and Language PDF Author: John W. Schwieter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108960502
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages :

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Book Description
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from diverse, multi-disciplinary perspectives, and introduces key models of working memory in relation to language. Following an introductory chapter by working memory pioneer Alan Baddeley, the collection is organized into thematic sections that discuss working memory in relation to: Theoretical models and measures; Linguistic theories and frameworks; First language processing; Bilingual acquisition and processing; and Language disorders, interventions, and instruction. The Handbook is sure to interest and benefit researchers, clinicians, speech therapists, and advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in linguistics, psychology, education, speech therapy, cognitive science, and neuroscience, or anyone seeking to learn more about language, cognition and the human mind.

Coordination and the Syntax-Discourse Interface

Coordination and the Syntax-Discourse Interface PDF Author: Daniel Altshuler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198804237
Category :
Languages : en
Pages : 368

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Book Description
This survey explores interactions between syntax and discourse, through a case study of patterns of extraction from coordinate structures. It offers a starting point for further research on extraction from coordinate structures and provides a guide to how to tease out the theoretical implications of empirical findings.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics PDF Author: Stephen Cushman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841429
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 1680

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Book Description
The most important poetry reference for more than four decades—now fully updated for the twenty-first century Through three editions over more than four decades, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics has built an unrivaled reputation as the most comprehensive and authoritative reference for students, scholars, and poets on all aspects of its subject: history, movements, genres, prosody, rhetorical devices, critical terms, and more. Now this landmark work has been thoroughly revised and updated for the twenty-first century. Compiled by an entirely new team of editors, the fourth edition—the first new edition in almost twenty years—reflects recent changes in literary and cultural studies, providing up-to-date coverage and giving greater attention to the international aspects of poetry, all while preserving the best of the previous volumes. At well over a million words and more than 1,000 entries, the Encyclopedia has unparalleled breadth and depth. Entries range in length from brief paragraphs to major essays of 15,000 words, offering a more thorough treatment—including expert synthesis and indispensable bibliographies—than conventional handbooks or dictionaries. This is a book that no reader or writer of poetry will want to be without. Thoroughly revised and updated by a new editorial team for twenty-first-century students, scholars, and poets More than 250 new entries cover recent terms, movements, and related topics Broader international coverage includes articles on the poetries of more than 110 nations, regions, and languages Expanded coverage of poetries of the non-Western and developing worlds Updated bibliographies and cross-references New, easier-to-use page design Fully indexed for the first time

Syntactic Structures after 60 Years

Syntactic Structures after 60 Years PDF Author: Norbert Hornstein
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 1501506927
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 463

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Book Description
This volume explores the continuing relevance of Syntactic Structures to contemporary research in generative syntax. The contributions examine the ideas that changed the way that syntax is studied and that still have a lasting effect on contemporary work in generative syntax. Topics include formal foundations, the syntax-semantics interface, the autonomy of syntax, methods of data analysis, and detailed discussions of the role of transformations. New commentary from Noam Chomsky is included.

The Notion of the Native Speaker Put to the Test: Recent Research Advances

The Notion of the Native Speaker Put to the Test: Recent Research Advances PDF Author: Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
ISBN: 2889749657
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages :

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Book Description