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SFB 833: The Construction of Meaning, A7: Focus Construction and Freezing Johannes Heim.

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Presentation on theme: "SFB 833: The Construction of Meaning, A7: Focus Construction and Freezing Johannes Heim."— Presentation transcript:

1 SFB 833: The Construction of Meaning, A7: Focus Construction and Freezing Johannes Heim

2 Intro “These are the plants Getafix [Miraculix] wants me to bring without eating”

3 Intro English:- Which are the articles i John filed t i without reading pg i. “true gap”“parasitic gap” (Engdahl 1983) - Which girl did Bill praise t because Sue liked pg? overt subject + tensed verb Variation : (Seely 1987) - Which antiques did Joan lift up t in order for Beth to examine pg? overt subject + untensed verb (Kurtzman & Crawford 1991) Bayrisch:- Das ist der Kerl i den i wenn ich pg i erwisch, erschlag ich t i. (Felix 1985) Standard German:*- Lisa hat den Hans [anstatt pg zu küssen] geohrfeigt. (Kathol 1995 ) A parasitic gap (Pgap) is a gap that is dependent on the existence of another gap in the same sentence.

4 Intro: Gaps, Fillers, and Dependencies Standard filler-gap dependency: Who do you think that Mary saw t? (Hawkins1999) FILLER GAP Standard assumption: once a filler is “used”, it may not be used again. Which articles did John file t without reading pg? FILLER GAP GAP Defining Parasitic Gaps (Engdahl 1983): “a gap that is dependent on the existence of another gap, […]in the same sentence. By a gap, I understand an empty node that is necessarily controlled by a lexical phrase somewhere in the sentence. It follows from this definition that a parasitic gap will only occur if there is a filler-gap dependency elsewhere in the sentence and the parasitic gap is interpreted as controlled by that filler.”

5 Chain Formation “The paper which she filed without reading”

6 Chain Formation Chain construction alternatives: a)There is a chain from the antecedent to both the true gap and the Pgap. b)The true gap chain and the Pgap chain are composed into one. c)A Pgap behaves similarly to a pronoun and has a binding syntactic antecedent. This translates into a dynamical parasitic chain formation in the course of processing. (Culicover n.d.)  Despite the complex filler-gap dependency Pgaps are quite acceptable (Phillips 2006): “Uninitiated native speakers share the judgments assumed by professional linguists”

7 Engdahl’s (1983) Hierarchy of Accessibility “People who accept parasitic gaps in one type of a domain generally accept gaps in any domain higher up on the hierarchy, but there is a lot of individual variation as to how far down the hierarchy parasitic gaps may occur” (Engdahl 1983). It is plausible to attribute the variability in judgments directly to the construction of the chain, that is, to the identification of the antecedent at the point at which the gap, true or parasitic, is encountered (Culicover n.d.) (> = more acceptable)

8 Engdahl’s (1983) Hierarchy of Accessibility BUT: Engdahl’s division is incorrect; tensedness also affects adverbial domains. Kurtzman & Crawford (1991) a)Which antiques did Joan buy after examining? (73% grammatical) b)Which antiques did Joan buy after she examined? (43% grammatical) c)Which antiques did Joan buy after Beth examined? (46% grammatical) AND: An overt subject is claimed to be another factor. Seely (1987) a)This is the man who the FBI seized before incriminating. (78% grammatical) b)This is the man who the FBI seized before Jim’s incriminating. (56% grammatical)

9 Engdahl’s (1983) Hierarchy of Accessibility

10 Complexity Factors “If the parasitic gap chain does not itself contain too many complexity factors, the resulting judgment is that it is acceptable. But if the parasitic gap chain itself is complex, then the amelioration that is contributed by the true gap is not sufficient to bring the complexity down to a point where the parasitic gap chain is judged to be acceptable” (Culicover n.d.: 11) (Complexity Factors) Tensedness Parastic Gap Overt Subject

11 Hypotheses and beyond… On a greater scale: (i)How do complexity factors and acceptability judgments interrelate? (ii)Do processing costs of complexity factors apply structure-indepedently? (ii)How do different complexity factors interrelate?

12 Hypotheses and beyond… Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. i.e.These are the documents John filed… after reading > after Peter read. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. i.e.tensedness + overt subject = 1 complexity factor (rather than 2 individual factors) Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps i.e. Without clause / temporal adverb / purpose clause / manner adverb domain b) universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions. i.e.These are the documents John filed after reading… them / pg.

13 Hypotheses and beyond… Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. i.e.These are the documents John filed… after reading > after Peter read. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. i.e.tensedness + overt subject = 1 complexity factor (rather than 2 individual factors) Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps i.e. Without clause / temporal adverb / purpose clause / manner adverb domain b) universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions. i.e.These are the documents John filed after reading… them / pg.

14 Hypotheses and beyond… Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. i.e.These are the documents John filed… after reading > after Peter read. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. i.e.tensedness + overt subject = 1 complexity factor (rather than 2 individual factors) Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps i.e. Without clause / temporal adverb / purpose clause / manner adverb domain b) universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions. i.e.These are the documents John filed after reading… them / pg.

15 General Design  32 native speakers of English  4 sets of 50 items:  Experiment 1: 3 factors (tensedness, overt subject, Pgap) in 1 domain  Experiment 2: 2 factors (tensedness, overt subject) in 4 different domains 50 test sentences 30 Target sentences 18 sentences Experiment 1 12 sentences Experiment 2 20 Distractors

16 Method: Thermometer Judgments

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18 Comparing Thermometer Judgments 1 reference item 2 reference item open- ended scale

19 General Design  32 native speakers of English  4 sets of 50 items:  Experiment 1: 3 factors (tensedness, overt subject, Pgap) in 1 domain  Testing factors structure-independently (Pgap vs. pronoun)  Experiment 2: 2 factors (tensedness, overt subject) in 4 different domains  Testing factors for all adjunct Pgap domains 50 test sentences 30 Target sentences 18 sentences Experiment 1 12 sentences Experiment 2 20 Distractors

20 Design – Experiment 1 (Temporal Adverbs) temporal adverbs - P - T - S - P - T + S - P + T - S - P + T + S + P - T - S + P - T + S + P + T - S + P + T + S [+ / - Pgap][+ / - Tense][+ / - Subject]

21 Sample Item – Experiment 1 ParametersTypeTenseSubjectExamples Pgap vs. pronoun, tensed vs. untensed, overt vs. no overt subject no Pgap -+ These are the documents John filed after Peter reading them. -- These are the documents John filed after reading them. +- These are the documents John filed after read them. ++ These are the documents John filed after Peter read them. Pgap -+ These are the documents John filed after Peter reading. -- These are the documents John filed after reading. +- These are the documents John filed after read. ++ These are the documents John filed after Peter read.

22 Results – Experiment 1 (Temporal Adverb) Mean ratings of experiment 1 (by subjects) [P= Pgap, T = Tensedness, S = overt Subject]  Structure-dependent main effect of tensedness and overt subject.

23 Evaluating Hypotheses Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): CORRECT Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): CORRECT Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps: b)universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions: NO, the effect is STRUCTURE-DEPENDENT

24 Design – Experiment 2 (Adverbial Conjunctions) Adjunct Pgaps Temporal Adverbs - T + S - T - S + T + S Without Clauses - T + S - T - S + T + S Purpose Clauses - T + S - T - S + T +S Manner Adverbs - T + S - T - S + T +S [+ / - Tense][+ / - Subject]

25 Sample File – Experiment 2 ParametersAdverbTenseSubjectExamples without clause vs. purpose clause vs. manner adverb; tensed vs. untensed; overt subject vs. non overt subject temporal adverb -+ These are the documents John filed after Peter reading. -- These are the documents John filed after reading. ++ These are the documents John filed after Peter read. without clause -+ These are the periodicals Robert filed without George reading. -- These are the periodicals Robert filed without reading. ++ These are the periodicals Robert repeated lest he read. manner adverb -+ These are the portraits Susan praised as if Nancy selling. -- These are the portraits Susan praised as if selling. ++ These are the portraits Susan praised as if he had sold. purpose clause -+ These are the books Steven bought in order for Ben to read. -- These are the books Steven bought in order to read. ++ These are the books Steven bought in order that he might read.

26 Results – Experiment 2 without clauses manner adverbs purpose clauses temporal adverbs

27 Results – Experiment 2 [+ tense / - subject] > [+ tense / + subject] > [- tense / + subject]

28 Results – Experiment 2 Engdahl’s (1983) Hierarchy of Accessibility without clauses ˅ ˅ manner adverbs

29 Results – Experiment 2 Hierarchy with Pattern:

30 Evaluating Hypotheses Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): CORRECT Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): CORRECT (if variation can be explained) Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps: YES, with ONE EXCEPTION b)universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions: NO, the effect is STRUCTURE-DEPENDENT (superadditivity: much stronger effect in Pgaps)

31 Evaluating Hypotheses Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): CORRECT Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): CORRECT (if variation can be explained) Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps: YES, with ONE EXCEPTION b)universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions: NO, the effect is STRUCTURE-DEPENDENT (superadditivity: much stronger effect in Pgaps)

32 Results – Experiment 2 These are the periodicals Robert filed without George reading. without clauses manner adverbs purpose clauses temporal adverbs These are the books Steven bought in order for Ben to read.

33 Evaluating Hypothesis Hypothesis 1 (tensedness): CORRECT Pgap constructions with a temporal adverb domain are more acceptable if the domain is untensed rather than tensed. Hypothesis 2 (tensedness  overt subject): CORRECT (if variation can be explained) Every tensed Pgap domain must have an overt subject; every untensed Pgap domain may not. Hypothesis 3 (universality): Tensedness and overt subject are a)universally applying factors of complexity for all adjunct Pgaps: YES, with ONE EXCEPTION b)universally applying factors of complexity regardless whether they occur in Pgap constructions: NO, the effect is STRUCTURE-DEPENDENT (superadditivity: much stronger effect in Pgaps)

34 Conclusion Engdahl‘s (1983) Hierarchy and Culicover‘s (2008) Complexity Factors: As in Engdahl (1983), adverbial domains were preferred in the following order: without clauses > temporal adverbs > purpose clauses > manner adverbs The complexity factors tensedness and overt subject affected each adverbial domain in the same way. This translates into the following pattern: [+ tense / - subject] > [+ tense / + subject] > [- tense / + subject] Interrelation of complexity factors: The complexity factors under investigation have structure dependent effects: a Pgap construction  different effect of overt subject in a tensed domain in a non-Pgap equivalent The effect of complexity factors does not increase in proportion to the number of factors.

35 Conclusion Engdahl‘s (1983) Hierarchy and Culicover‘s (2008) Complexity Factors: As in Engdahl (1983), adverbial domains were preferred in the following order: without clauses > temporal adverbs > purpose clauses > manner adverbs The complexity factors tensedness and overt subject affected each adverbial domain in the same way. This translates into the following pattern: [+ tense / - subject] > [+ tense / + subject] > [- tense / + subject] Interrelation of complexity factors: The complexity factors under investigation have structure dependent effects: a Pgap construction  different effect of overt subject in a tensed domain in a non-Pgap equivalent The effect of complexity factors does not increase in proportion to the number of factors.

36 Outlook Case: The smaller effect of overt subject in a tensed domain in a purpose clause may be due to the particular construction, viz. complementizer + accusative subject: These are the documents John marked after Peter filing. These are the documents John marked after he/Peter filed. These are the documents John marked in order for Peter to read. These are the documents John marked in order that he/Peter (might) read.  The complementizer helps the parser to identify the phrase boundary. Semantics of adverbial conjunctions: Without is argued to carry less semantic processing load than a temporal adverb. The decline in complexity could explain why without clauses are cross-linguistically favored in Pgap domains These are the documents John filed without Peter reading. These are the documents John filed after Peter reading Saliency in Discourse: These are the articles John filed without reading. Which are the articles John filed without reading? What are the articles John filed without reading?  Stronger discourse saliency ameliorates the complexity of Pgaps.

37 Outlook Case: The smaller effect of overt subject in a tensed domain in a purpose clause may be due to the particular construction, viz. complementizer + accusative subject: These are the documents John marked after Peter filing. These are the documents John marked after he/Peter filed. These are the documents John marked in order for Peter to read. These are the documents John marked in order that he/Peter (might) read.  The complementizer helps the parser to identify the phrase boundary. Semantics of adverbial conjunctions: Without is argued to carry less semantic processing load than a temporal adverb. The decline in complexity could explain why without clauses are cross-linguistically favored in Pgap domains These are the documents John filed without Peter reading. These are the documents John filed after Peter reading Saliency in Discourse: These are the articles John filed without reading. Which are the articles John filed without reading? What are the articles John filed without reading?  Stronger discourse saliency ameliorates the complexity of Pgaps.

38 Outlook Case: The smaller effect of overt subject in a tensed domain in a purpose clause may be due to the particular construction, viz. complementizer + accusative subject: These are the documents John marked after Peter filing. These are the documents John marked after he/Peter filed. These are the documents John marked in order for Peter to read. These are the documents John marked in order that he/Peter (might) read.  The complementizer helps the parser to identify the phrase boundary. Semantics of adverbial conjunctions: Without is argued to carry less semantic processing load than a temporal adverb. The decline in complexity could explain why without clauses are cross-linguistically favored in Pgap domains These are the documents John filed without Peter reading. These are the documents John filed after Peter reading Saliency in Discourse: These are the articles John filed without reading. Which are the articles John filed without reading? What are the articles John filed without reading?  Stronger discourse saliency ameliorates the complexity of Pgaps.

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