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Prepositional Phrase Attachment Ambiguities In Declarative And Interrogative Contexts: Oral Reading Data, Tyler J. Peckenpaugh 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Prepositional Phrase Attachment Ambiguities In Declarative And Interrogative Contexts: Oral Reading Data, Tyler J. Peckenpaugh

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Certain English sentences containing multiple prepositional phrases (e.g., She had planned to cram the paperwork in the drawer into her briefcase) have been reported to be prone to mis-parsing of a kind that is standardly called a “garden path.” The mis-parse stems from the temporary ambiguity of the first prepositional phrase (PP1: in the drawer), which tends to be interpreted initially as the goal argument of the verb cram. If the sentence ended there, that would be correct. But that analysis is overridden when the second prepositional phrase (PP2: into her briefcase) is encountered, since the into phrase can ...


Do It Like A Syntactician: Using Binary Gramaticality Judgements To Train Sentence Encoders And Assess Their Sensitivity To Syntactic Structure, Pablo Gonzalez Martinez 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Do It Like A Syntactician: Using Binary Gramaticality Judgements To Train Sentence Encoders And Assess Their Sensitivity To Syntactic Structure, Pablo Gonzalez Martinez

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The binary nature of grammaticality judgments and their use to access the structure of syntax are a staple of modern linguistics. However, computational models of natural language rarely make use of grammaticality in their training or application. Furthermore, developments in modern neural NLP have produced a myriad of methods that push the baselines in many complex tasks, but those methods are typically not evaluated from a linguistic perspective. In this dissertation I use grammaticality judgements with artificially generated ungrammatical sentences to assess the performance of several neural encoders and propose them as a suitable training target to make models learn ...


Cue-Based Reflexive Reference Resolution: Evidence From Korean Reflexive Caki, Namseok Yong 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Cue-Based Reflexive Reference Resolution: Evidence From Korean Reflexive Caki, Namseok Yong

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation aims to reveal cognitive mechanisms and factors that underlie the reflexive dependency formation. In recent years, a lot of attention has been paid to the question of how our mind works in building linguistic dependencies (including an antecedent-reflexive dependency) because relevant research has proved promising and illuminating in regard to the properties (e.g., system architecture, computational algorithms, etc.) of human language processor and its close connection with other cognitive functions such as memory (Lewis & Vasishth, 2005; Lewis, Vasishth, & Van Dyke, 2006; McElree, 2000; McElree, Foraker, & Dyer, 2003; Van Dyke & Johns, 2012; Wagers, Lau, & Phillips, 2009). Building upon this line of research, the present dissertation provides empirical evidence to show that the parser can directly access potential antecedents (stored in memory) in forming an antecedent-reflexive dependency, using various linguistic cues and contextual knowledge available at the reflexive.

In order to make this claim, this dissertation examines the Korean mono-morphemic reflexive caki ‘self’ (also known as a long-distance anaphor), using acceptability judgment and self-paced reading methodologies, and asks (i) what linguistic factors guide its reference resolution and (ii) how they are applied to cognitive processes for memory retrieval and phrase structure building.

A series of acceptability judgment experiments (Experiments 1 through 5) show that caki has a very robust referential bias: it strongly prefers a subject antecedent. Moreover, it is established that syntactic constraints (e.g., binding constraints) are not the only available source of information during caki’s reference resolution. Indeed, various non-syntactic sources of information (or cues) can also determine caki’s reference resolution. Three self-paced reading experiments (Experiments 6 through 8) provide evidence compatible with the direct-access content-addressable memory retrieval model (Lewis & Vasishth, 2005; Lewis et al., 2006; McElree, 2000; Van Dyke & McElree, 2011)

Based on these experimental findings, I present an explanation of why caki preferentially forms a dependency with a subject antecedent. I argue that caki’s subject antecedent bias is driven both externally (i.e., syntactic prominence of a grammatical subject and first-mention advantage) and internally (i.e., frequency-based prediction on caki-subject dependency relation). Finally, I showcase how a referential dependency between caki and a potential antecedent can be constructed by the cue-based retrieval parser (Lewis et al., 2006; Van Dyke & Lewis, 2003).


Heritage Speaker And Late Bilingual L2 Relative Clause Processing And Language Dominance Effects, LeeAnn S. Stevens 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Heritage Speaker And Late Bilingual L2 Relative Clause Processing And Language Dominance Effects, Leeann S. Stevens

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Traditionally, heritage speakers are recognized as a heterogeneous group whose skills in their heritage language are unlike those of monolinguals or L2 learners of that language. Indeed, much evidence confirms the cognitive and linguistic uniqueness of this population. However, highly proficient heritage speakers may pattern more similarly to another bilingual population than typically assumed: first-generation late bilinguals.

The present study examines group-level processing differences between Spanish heritage speakers and Spanish-English late bilinguals in English, the second-learned and current societal majority language of these populations. Dominance is also analyzed as a possible effect of group processing differences, since traditionally and definitionally ...


P’Urhépecha Classifier Morphemes, Matthew Ball 2019 Purdue University, West Lafayette

P’Urhépecha Classifier Morphemes, Matthew Ball

The Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research

No abstract provided.


Touch Down In Pittsburghese, R. Thomas McCoy 2019 Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Bologna Center

Touch Down In Pittsburghese, R. Thomas Mccoy

Yale Working Papers in Grammatical Diversity

In standard American English, down may take a DP object only if the DP indicates a path, as in I walked down the street. However, for some speakers of Pittsburgh English, it is also grammatical for down to take a DP object indicating a location or goal, as in She works down Baltimore (meaning ‘She works down in Baltimore’). In this work, I describe the distributional properties of this usage, which I name “touch down.” Based on these properties, I propose the syntactic analysis that touch down licenses a silent preposition where standard American English has an overt preposition, and ...


A Jewel Inlaid: Ergativity And Markedness In Nepali, Luke S. Lindemann 2019 Yale University

A Jewel Inlaid: Ergativity And Markedness In Nepali, Luke S. Lindemann

Linguistics Graduate Dissertations

Nepali presents with a complex case marking pattern in which ergative case is obligatory in perfective transitive clauses, disallowed in unaccusative intransitive clauses and copular clauses, and varies with the nominative elsewhere. Where ergative marking is variable, its usage correlates with a variety of semantic and pragmatic factors. The purpose of this investigation is to precisely delineate the grammatical domains for which ergative marking is variable and to provide a unified analysis of the semantic and pragmatic factors that correlate with its expression.

The study of pragmatic phenomena requires the implementation of multiple strategies for collecting language data. The data ...


I Feel Like That One Complementizer Is Not Enough, Aidan Kaplan 2019 Yale University

I Feel Like That One Complementizer Is Not Enough, Aidan Kaplan

Yale Working Papers in Grammatical Diversity

This study presents a description and analysis of an instance of syntactic microvariation, which I call the like that construction. In this construction, an embedded CP is apparently introduced by two complementizers or complementizer-like elements, as in I feel like that we’re going to win the game. This construction is found to be acceptable to speakers from all over the US, with no apparent geographic constraints, while it is also unacceptable to many speakers. Using judgments from a consultant who accepts this construction as well as examples drawn from the Internet, I show that the syntactic properties of like ...


A Rhetorical Analysis Of Opening Statements In Trial: Reconsidering The Classical Canon Of Invention, Andrew Chandler 2019 Bellarmine University

A Rhetorical Analysis Of Opening Statements In Trial: Reconsidering The Classical Canon Of Invention, Andrew Chandler

Undergraduate Theses

This analysis of 21 opening statements probes at current persuasive practices employed by trial attorneys through the lens of mainstream legal advice and an expanded definition of rhetorical invention – one which includes both discovery and creation. An evaluation of such practice reveals the utility, and furthermore the duty of the advocate, to draw upon an expanded realm of available arguments.


Assessment Of Academic Vocabulary In Early Adolescents Using A Novel Sampling Method, Amber Cline 2019 Western Kentucky University

Assessment Of Academic Vocabulary In Early Adolescents Using A Novel Sampling Method, Amber Cline

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The current study examined a method of language sampling (the Dixit Method- Science, Math, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in early adolescents with typically developing language. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the DM-STEAM in eliciting lexically sophisticated spoken language samples in the early adolescent population. To examine lexical sophistication, traditional measures of analysis such as mean length of utterance (MLU) and average type token ratio (AVG TTR) were applied along with a measure of low frequency vocabulary. To compare performance on the DM-STEAM, school standardized assessments were obtained to measure student skill in academic content ...


La Syntaxe Et L'Interprétation Des Questions Coordonnées, Mikalai Kliashchuk 2019 The University of Western Ontario

La Syntaxe Et L'Interprétation Des Questions Coordonnées, Mikalai Kliashchuk

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Cette thèse traite des questions coordonnées dans les langues slaves et en roumain. Nous considérons trois approches proposées dans la littérature (approche monopropositionnelle, approche à écluse, approche mixte à structures multidominantes) et concluons que l’analyse en termes des structures multidominantes de Citko et Gračanin-Yuksek (2013) est la meilleure à rendre compte des interrogatives coordonnées à travers les langues. Nous montrons que la seule structure nécessaire pour dériver les interrogatives coordonnées dans toutes les langues slaves et en roumain est la structure multidominante de partage en gros. Cette structure est disponible uniquement dans les langues au mouvement-QU multiple. Elle implique ...


Mandarin -Guo Under Control: An Experimental Study, Wei Zhou 2019 West Virginia University

Mandarin -Guo Under Control: An Experimental Study, Wei Zhou

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

This thesis examines the experiential aspectual marker -guo under control in Mandarin. The status of -guo under control has been a subject of controversy, involving two important theoretical questions. The first question concerns whether -guo under control is syntactically associated with the matrix verb or the embedded verb. The second question deals with whether, in terms of interpretive effects, -guo under control triggers actuality entailments. This thesis addresses the latter question through an interpretive judgment test conducted among 260 native Mandarin speakers. In the test, three control verbs (changshi ‘try’, guli ‘encourage’, and zuzhi ‘oppose’) were selected, each of which ...


Learnability And Overgeneration In Computational Syntax, Yiding Hao 2019 Yale University

Learnability And Overgeneration In Computational Syntax, Yiding Hao

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

This paper addresses the hypothesis that unnatural patterns generated by grammar formalisms can be eliminated on the grounds that they are unlearnable. I consider three examples of formal languages thought to represent dependencies unattested in natural language syntax, and show that all three can be learned by grammar induction algorithms following the Distributional Learning paradigm of Clark and Eyraud (2007). While learnable language classes are restrictive by necessity (Gold, 1967), these facts suggest that learnability alone may be insufficient for addressing concerns of overgeneration in syntax.


22 - “Make Me A Sandwich” - “Poof, You’Re A Sandwich!”: Ditransitive Syntax In The Brain, Haley Shea J. Barfield 2018 University of North Georgia

22 - “Make Me A Sandwich” - “Poof, You’Re A Sandwich!”: Ditransitive Syntax In The Brain, Haley Shea J. Barfield

Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC)

How does the brain distinguish between sentences with nearly identical structures? Neurolinguists have begun to form a fascinating picture of language in the brain in the decades since the first observation of event-related potentials during language tasks. A deeper understanding of syntactic activity—including pattern recognition, ambiguity resolution, and interpretation of functional constituents during sentence processing—would yield insights beneficial to the fields of language education, brain-computer interface, human-computer interaction, and neurolinguistic programs for language acquisition, speech therapy, and rehabilitation of communicative disorders.

To map the brain’s responses to sentence structures, we will use scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to measure ...


Women In The New Testament’S Church Ministry: The Problem Of Remaining Silent, Jose A. Santiago 2018 Liberty University

Women In The New Testament’S Church Ministry: The Problem Of Remaining Silent, Jose A. Santiago

Diligence: Journal of the Liberty University Online Religion Capstone in Research and Scholarship

In 1 Corinthians 14:34, one finds Paul’ command that women ought to keep silent in the church setting. As a result, this command appears to be a subject of great debate for many since the text seems to contradict Scripture’ view of women’s involvement in ministry. In addition, it seems to contradict the fact that Paul has just previously mentioned women prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5). Hence, it creates a problem designating this verse to be un-Pauline in nature, either by interpolation or allusive quotation. Subsequently, this begs for further investigation of Paul’s prohibition of a woman ...


Amount Superlatives And Measure Phrases, E. Cameron Wilson 2018 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Amount Superlatives And Measure Phrases, E. Cameron Wilson

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation provides a novel analysis of quantity superlatives by bringing together research on three interrelated topics: superlative ambiguity, semantic constraints on measure constructions, and the internal structure of the extended nominal phrase. I analyze the quantity words, most, least, and fewest as superlatives of quantificational adjectives (Q-adjectives), but argue that these are often embedded inside a covert measure construction, rather than directly modifying the overt noun. I also introduce novel data showing that the measure phrases that appear in overt pseudopartitive constructions have more complex internal structure than previously assumed. Specifically, they may contain adjectives, including superlative inflection in ...


The Variable Expression Of Transitive Subject And Possesor In Wayuunaiki (Guajiro), Andres M. Sabogal 2018 Universitiy of New Mexico

The Variable Expression Of Transitive Subject And Possesor In Wayuunaiki (Guajiro), Andres M. Sabogal

Linguistics ETDs

In Wayuunaiki, verbal affixes cross-reference clausal arguments in various ways. Most notably, there are two ways to express transitive subjects, and two ways to express possessors. Much like voice alternatives, the variable expression of subject and possessor impart different perspectives on a situation type, but unlike traditional voice categories, syntactic valence remains equal. This dissertation characterizes these constructions with a specific question in mind: what do these two cross-referencing alternations communicate and what influences their usage? To answer these questions, I consider the linguistic properties observed in the usage of these constructions in narratives (Jusayú 1986, 1994), and informal conversations ...


Acquisition Of Catalan And Spanish Morphosyntax In The Catalan-Spanish Bilingual Context, Adriana Soto-Corominas 2018 The University of Western Ontario

Acquisition Of Catalan And Spanish Morphosyntax In The Catalan-Spanish Bilingual Context, Adriana Soto-Corominas

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This dissertation investigated the acquisition of Catalan and Spanish morphosyntax by early Catalan-Spanish bilinguals living in Catalunya, a province of Spain with widespread societal bilingualism. Specifically, it focused on the acquisition of six clitic pronouns in Catalan that have different representations in Spanish. Of the six, partitive en, oblique en, locative hi, and oblique hi do not have direct counterparts in Spanish, and correspond to ellipsis in the adult grammar. The accusative neuter clitic ho and masculine clitic l constitute a distinction based on specificity and gender not made in Spanish and both correspond to Spanish lo.

With the help ...


The Collaborative Function Of Verbal Aspect And Aktionsart: A Distributional Analysis Of English Verb-Types, Marc A. Agee 2018 Cedarville University

The Collaborative Function Of Verbal Aspect And Aktionsart: A Distributional Analysis Of English Verb-Types, Marc A. Agee

Linguistics Senior Research Projects

This paper reviews literature in aspect studies from modern linguistics and Biblical language studies and proposes syntheses of multiple definitions given for these often-confusing verbal categories as the discussion has progressed from the Nineteenth Century to the present day. To inform these definitions, key studies such as Bache (1982), Comrie (1981), Lyons (1977), and Porter (1989) are consulted. In addition to suggesting definitions for these, this paper also discusses the best way to understand aktionsart as it functions in several related languages, and as it relates to aspect in usage. An analysis of evidence for this description as it functions ...


Datives, Data And Dialect Syntax In American English, Jim Wood, Raffaella Zanuttini 2018 Yale University

Datives, Data And Dialect Syntax In American English, Jim Wood, Raffaella Zanuttini

Linguistics Faculty Publications

In this paper, we present a detailed case study of a number of dative constructions that vary across speakers of American English. We show how geographical maps of acceptability judgments can be used to shed light on the syntactic structures underlying those judgments. Those structures can then be used to refine our understanding of syntax more generally, in this case relating to the features of argument-introducing heads. We provide novel support for the low applicative analysis of the Personal Dative construction, on the grounds that this analysis falls in line with a general, somewhat surprising conclusion about Southern American English ...


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