Presentation_1_The Role of Animacy and Structural Information in Relative Clause Attachment: Evidence From Chinese.pdf (104.32 kB)

Presentation_1_The Role of Animacy and Structural Information in Relative Clause Attachment: Evidence From Chinese.pdf

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posted on 17.07.2019, 08:54 by Nayoung Kwon, Deborah Ong, Hongyue Chen, Aili Zhang

We report one production and one comprehension experiment investigating the effect of animacy in relative clause attachment in Chinese. Experiment 1 involved a fill-in-the-blank task that manipulated the order of an animate noun phrase in a complex NP construction. The results showed that while low attachment responses exceeded high attachment responses overall (cf. Shen, 2006), a tendency exists to attach a relative clause to an animate NP in Chinese (cf. Desmet et al., 2002). Experiment 2 used a rating task to examine the interplay between animacy and structural information by manipulating the order of the animate NP as well as the relative clause type (i.e., subject vs. object relative clauses). The results showed that the animate NP modification tendency found in Experiment 1 was limited to subject-relative clauses and that no animacy-related effect was found with object-relative clauses. These results are incompatible with purely structural parsing strategies such as Late Closure (Frazier, 1987) and the Predicate Proximity Principle (Gibson et al., 1996). Instead, the current results suggest that attachment ambiguity resolution in Chinese relative clauses is sensitive to animacy as well as structural information.

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