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On the Form and Type of Information in Language Processing: the Choice of Antecedent of VP Ellipsis in Croatian

Irina Masnikosa ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Mirjana Tonković orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Anita Peti-Stantić orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 670 Kb

str. 523-547

preuzimanja: 302



Psycholinguistic research of language processing has provided evidence that memory for the syntactic structure, as opposed to memory of the meaning of the utterance, is short lived, especially across the sentence boundaries (Caplan 1972, Jarvella 1971). However, the syntactic structure of the preceding text influences processing and interpretation of the ellipsis. (Hankamer and Sag 1976, Shapiro and Hestvik 1995). Frazier and Clifton (2005) formulated the (1) Main Assertion Hypothesis (MAH): comprehenders prefer to relate material in a new sentence to the main assertion of the preceding sentence; (2) Conjunction Domain Hypothesis: the processing of conjunction allows either the entire conjoined phrase to be processed or just the closer conjunct. These hypotheses are experimentally confirmed in the study of the interpretation of ambiguous elliptical sentences (Frazier and Clifton 2005). In this paper we experimentaly test the role of the Main Assertion Hypothesis and the Conjunction domain Hypothesis in the interpretation of VP ellipsis in Croatian. The differences in interpretation and reaction times were measured in comprehension task for two-sentenced discourses including complex sentences (e.g. Tina je otišla kući nakon što je popila piće. I Marija je. ‘Tina went home after she had a drink. So did Marija.’) and compound sentences (Tina je otišla kući i popila piće. I Marija je. ‘Tina went home and had a drink. So did Marija.’). Results suggest that the dominant strategy is choosing the cojoined structure as an antecedent of VP ellipsis. However, the effects of the main assertion and clause order are observed in the interpretation of the ellipsis following complex sentences. Results for the preferred interpretation of elliptical sentences that follow compound sentences confirm the Conjunction Domain Hypothesis i.e. the role of the clause order in processing.

Ključne riječi

ellipsis, complex sentences, compound sentences, language processing, Main Assertion Hypothesis, recency

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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