A novel argument for the Universality of Parsing principles

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Previous work on Relative Clause attachment has overlooked a crucial grammatical distinction across both the languages and structures tested: the selective availability of Pseudo Relatives. We reconsider the literature in light of this observation and argue that, all else being equal, local attachment is found with genuine Relative Clauses and that non-local attachment emerges when their surface identical imposters, Pseudo Relatives, are available. Hence, apparent cross-linguistic variation in parsing preferences is reducible to grammatical factors. The results from two novel experiments in Italian are presented in support of these conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-187
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Locality
  • Attachment preferences
  • Universality of Parsing principles
  • Relative clauses
  • Pseudo relatives


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