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Projects Case Cross-linguistically & Animacy Radboud University Nijmegen www.ru.nl/pionier Object fronting Helen de Hoop based on joint work with Monique.

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Presentation on theme: "Projects Case Cross-linguistically & Animacy Radboud University Nijmegen www.ru.nl/pionier Object fronting Helen de Hoop based on joint work with Monique."— Presentation transcript:

1 Projects Case Cross-linguistically & Animacy Radboud University Nijmegen www.ru.nl/pionier Object fronting Helen de Hoop based on joint work with Monique Lamers

2 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 2 Object fronting  Object fronting in Dutch  Dat weet ik zeker case that know I sure  Het lijk heeft Jan verstoptanimacy the corpse has Jan hidden  Jan sloeg Piet word order Jan hit Piet

3 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 3 Overview  Distinguishability  Incremental optimization of interpretation  Evidence from ERPs  Three types of verbs  Evidence from rating studies  Evidence from a production study  A bidirectional perspective  Conclusion

4 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 4 Distinguishability  Case can help to identify the first NP as the object Latin puer-um magisterlaudat boy ACC teacherpraises ‘ The teacher praises the boy. ’

5 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 5 Distinguishability ACCUSATIVE = “ part 2 ” Prediction: There is also a “ part 1 ”

6 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 6 Distinguishability part 2  part 1 ACC  subject Within the domain of language comprehension, it is well established that syntactic dependencies give rise to predictive parsing (Gibson, 1998). For example, the processing of an unambiguously identifiable object will give rise to the prediction of a subject.

7 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 7 Distinguishability Den Zaun habe ich zerbrochen [the fence] ACC have I NOM broken “The fence, I broke.”

8 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 8 Distinguishability Den Zaun habe ich zerbrochen Distinguishability of subject and object  Case  Agreement  Prominence (animacy)  Selection * Precedence (word order)

9 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 9 Distinguishability Die Studentin hat die Professorin geschlagen “The student hit the professor.”

10 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 10 Distinguishability Die Studentin hat die Professorin geschlagen Distinguishability of subject and object * Case * Agreement * Prominence (animacy) * Selection  Precedence (word order)

11 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 11 Distinguishability The holiday pleased the man The man liked the holiday

12 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 12 Distinguishability The holiday pleased the man Distinguishability of subject and object * Case * Agreement * Prominence (animacy)  Selection  Precedence (word order)

13 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 13 Distinguishability Case: the subject is in the nominative case, the object in the accusative Agreement: the subject agrees with the verb Prominence (animacy): the subject outranks the object in animacy Selection: Fit the selection restrictions of the verb. Precedence (word order): the subject linearly precedes the object

14 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 14 Determining the ranking Ich habe den Zaun zerbrochen “I broke the fence” CASEAGREESELECTPRECPROM  Subject- initial SI Object-initial OI *****

15 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 15 Determining the ranking Den Zaun habe ich zerbrochen “The fence I broke” CASEAGREESELECTPRECPROM Subject-initial SI ****  Object-initial OI *

16 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 16 Determining the ranking Der Zaun hat mich zerbrochen “The fence broke me” CASEAGREESELECTPRECPROM  SI ** OI ***

17 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 17 Determining the ranking Die Jacke hat Bernhard gesehen “The coat, Bernhard saw” CASEAGREESELECTPRECPROM SI **  OI *

18 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 18 Determining the ranking Bernhard hat die Vorstellung deprimiert “The play depressed Bernhard” CASEAGREESELECTPRECPROM SI *  OI **

19 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 19 Determining the ranking Die Pflanze streifte Bernhard “The plant hit Bernhard” CASEAGREESELECTPRECPROM  SI * OI *

20 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 20 The ranking of the constraints  Case, Agreement  Selection  Precedence  Prominence

21 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 21 Incremental optimization  During sentence processing the optimal interpretation is being built up incrementally (word-by-word or constituent-by-constituent)  System of ranked constraints

22 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 22 Incremental optimization  Optimal interpretation at time t  Jumping from one interpretation to the other  ERP studies  Lamers 2001

23 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 23 Incremental optimization

24 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 24 Incremental optimization De oude vrouw… ‘The old lady…’ SELECTPREC  SI OI*

25 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 25 Incremental optimization De oude vrouw … ‘ The old lady …’ verzorgde… ‘took care of…’ SELECTPREC  SI OI *

26 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 26 Incremental optimization Het oude park… ‘The old park…’ SELECTPREC  SI OI*

27 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 27 Incremental optimization Het oude park … ‘ The old park …’ verzorgde… ‘took care of…’ SELECTPREC  SISI* OI  OI*

28 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 28 Incremental optimization De oude vrouw … ‘ The old lady …’ verzorgde … ‘ took care of …’ hem … ‘ him.. ’ CASEPREC  SI OI **

29 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 29 Incremental optimization De oude vrouw … ‘ The old lady …’ verzorgde … ‘ took care of …’ hij … ‘ he …’ CASEPREC  SI SI* OI  OI*

30 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 30 Evidence from ERPs De oude vrouw … verzorgde … Het oude park … verzorgde CASE SELECTION  PRECEDENCE  * ERP- Early, late positivities

31 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 31 Evidence from ERPs De oude vrouw verzorgde … hem … De oude vrouw verzorgde … hij CASE  SELECTION  PRECEDENCE  * ERP- Early, late positivities

32 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 32 Evidence from ERPs Het oude park … verzorgdeDe oude vrouw verzorgde … hij CASE  SELECTION  PRECEDENCE  *  * ERP Early, late positivities

33 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 33 De oude vrouw in de straat verzorgde hem/hij… De oude vrouw/Het oude park … verzorgde hij… case animacy

34 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 34 Evidence from ERPs 1. De oude vrouw verzorgde hem… 2. Het oude park verzorgde hij… 3. De oude vrouw verzorgde hij… - (2) gets an OI reading at the verb (SELECTION) - (3) gets an OI reading at the pronoun (CASE) - Lamers (2001) reports similar ERP effects at the verb in (2) and at the pronoun in (3)

35 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 35 Evidence from ERPs 1. De oude vrouw verzorgde hem… 2. Het oude park verzorgde hij… 3. De oude vrouw verzorgde hij… - Lamers (2001) reports similar ERP effects at the verb in (2) and at the pronoun in (3) - At the verb in (2) and at the pronoun in (3) there is a “jump” from an SI to an OI reading (thereby violating PRECEDENCE)

36 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 36 Evidence from ERPs Identical ERP effects correspond to identical patterns of constraint violations

37 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 37 Three types of verbs  agentive & experiencer-theme verbs Call (x Agent, y Theme ) The secretary called the customer  causative psych/theme-experiencer verbs Frighten (x Theme/Stim, y Exp ) The secretary frightened us.  unaccusative psych verbs Please (x Theme, y Exp ) The secretary pleased us.

38 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 38 Three types of verbs  agentive & experiencer-theme verbs Dat de toerist de stad zeer bewonderde… that the tourist the city a-lot admired… *Dat de stad de toerist zeer bewonderde… that the city the tourist a-lot admired…

39 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 39 Three types of verbs  causative psych verbs Dat de stad de toerist zeer deprimeerde… that the city the tourist a-lot depressed… Dat de toerist de stad zeer deprimeerde… that the tourist the city a-lot depressed…

40 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 40 Three types of verbs  unaccusative psych verbs Dat de stad de toerist zeer beviel… that the city the tourist a-lot pleased… Dat de toerist de stad zeer beviel… that the tourist the city a-lot pleased…

41 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 41 Evidence from rating studies Verb typeMean rating of SOMean rating of OS Agentive6.9 (.11) 6.8 (0.7)1.4 (.26) 1.8 (1.2) Causative psych 6.3 (.49) 6.1 (1.3)3.1 (.86) 3.2 (1.4) Unaccusative psych 6.0 (.79) 5.9 (1.7)4.8 (1.0) 4.6 (2.3) Black: Lamers (2001)Orange: Lamers (2005)

42 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 42 Evidence from rating studies  General preference for subject-initial sentences  Strongest SI preference for agentive verbs  Highest rating of OI sentences for unaccusative psych verbs

43 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 43 Evidence from rating studies  Where do these differences between the three types of verbs come from? Strongest SI preference for agentive verbs  Subject first  Animate first

44 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 44 Evidence from rating studies  Psych verbs have an animate object Therefore, only one of the two constraints can be satisfied  Subject first  SI  Animate first  OI

45 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 45 Three types of verbs But then, what is the difference between unaccusative and psych verbs? Highest rating of OI sentences for unaccusative psych verbs Production experiment (Hofmans & Lamers 2006)

46 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 46 A production study  30 normal participants (6 Broca aphasics)  12 sets of three verbs with an animate & inanimate NPs (2 combinations for each set of verbs)  three conditions for each verb: -no first NP given -animate first -inanimate first depress student exam

47 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 47 conditionSI activePassiveOI activeother agentive791606 causative6027211 unacc612414 ANIMATE FIRST SUBJECT FIRST

48 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 48 A production study  Subject First  Animate First  Conflict between these two results in a higher occurrence of passive constructions with causative psych verbs satisfying both constraints, and a higher occurrence of OI constructions satisfying Animate First with unaccusative psych verbs.

49 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 49 A bidirectional perspective Difference in rating can be explained in a bidirectional approach in which the hearer takes the speaker’s perspective into account. But then, what is the difference between unaccusative and psych verbs?

50 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 50 A bidirectional perspective When a speaker wants to start with the animate argument, she can use a passive construction in case of a causative psych verb (thereby satisfying Subject First as well), but not in case of an unaccusative psych verb. Thus, for unaccusative psych verbs, only an OI sentence leads to satisfaction of Animate First.

51 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 51 Conclusions  Subject First is more important than Animate First.  If a speaker wants to satisfy Subject First as well as Animate First, then a conflict may arise in the case of psych verbs (that have animate objects).  To solve the conflict, a passive construction may be used (which implies satisfaction of both constraints).  But if passive formation is not possible (unaccusative psych verbs), then object fronting is the only way to satisfy Animate First.  This explains the increase of both the rating and the production of object-initial sentences in the case of unaccusative psych verbs.

52 Helen de Hoop Object FrontingBarcelona 2007 52 Case cross-linguistically & Animacy www.ru.nl/pionier/


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