The actress was on the balcony, after all: Eye-tracking locality and PR-availability effects in Spanish

Miriam Aguilar, Pilar Ferré, José M. Gavilán, José A. Hinojosa, Josep Demestre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relationship between syntactic ambiguity and locality has been a reliable cornerstone in theories of language comprehension with one exception: non-local preferences in object-modifying relative clauses preceded by two potential hosts (DP1 of DP2 RC). We test the offline and online effects of the availability of an alternative structure, the pseudo-relative, on the parsing of relative clauses. It has been claimed that pseudo-relatives are preferred to relative clauses because of their simplicity at the structural, interpretive and pragmatic levels, and act as a confound in the attachment literature (Grillo, 2012; Grillo & Costa, 2014). Our results show that attachment preferences are modulated by the availability of pseudo-relatives in offline and online tests. However, when this factor is controlled, parsing of relative clauses in Spanish is initially ruled by principles of locality, which can eventually be overridden by other factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104624
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCognition
Volume211
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Eye-tracking
  • Locality
  • Parsing principles
  • Pseudo-relatives
  • Relative clauses
  • Syntactic ambiguities

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