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 journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

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)
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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