A Syntactic Bias in Scope Ambiguity Resolution in the Processing of English-French Cardinality Interrogatives

Evidence for Informational Encapsulation

Laurent Dekydtspotter, Samantha D. Outcalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article presents a reading-time study of scope resolution in the interpretation of ambiguous cardinality interrogatives in English-French and in English and French native sentence processing. Participants were presented with a context, a self-paced segment-by-segment presentation of a cardinality interrogative, and a numerical answer that respondents either accepted or rejected. Very narrowly distributed and interpretation-dependent reading-time asymmetries arose in English-French processing and in French and English native processing. A syntactic account of scope resolution characterizes the reading-time asymmetries produced by English-French learners and differences between French and English native respondents. In contrast, a context-driven theory of scope resolution encounters many severe problems that render its plausibility exceedingly remote.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

asymmetry
trend
evidence
interpretation
time
Syntax
Scope Ambiguity
Cardinality
Interrogatives
Reading Time
Encapsulation
Ambiguity Resolution
Time Asymmetry
Render
Plausibility
Sentence Processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

A Syntactic Bias in Scope Ambiguity Resolution in the Processing of English-French Cardinality Interrogatives : Evidence for Informational Encapsulation. / Dekydtspotter, Laurent; Outcalt, Samantha D.

In: Language Learning, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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