The Wind Chilled the Spectators, but the Wine Just Chilled: Sense, Structure, and Sentence Comprehension

Cognitive Science 33 (4):610-628 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Anticipation plays a role in language comprehension. In this article, we explore the extent to which verb sense influences expectations about upcoming structure. We focus on change of state verbs like shatter, which have different senses that are expressed in either transitive or intransitive structures, depending on the sense that is used. In two experiments we influence the interpretation of verb sense by manipulating the thematic fit of the grammatical subject as cause or affected entity for the verb, and test whether readers’ expectations for a transitive or intransitive structure change as a result. This sense‐biasing context influenced reading times in the postverbal regions. Reading times for transitive sentences were faster following good‐cause than good‐theme subjects, but the opposite pattern was found for intransitive sentences. We conclude that readers use sense‐contingent subcategorization preferences during on‐line comprehension.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,654

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Verbal working memory and sentence comprehension.David Caplan & Gloria S. Waters - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):77-94.
Working memory and sentence comprehension: Whose burden of proof?Arthur Wingfield - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):113-114.
Further fractionations of verbal working memory.Randi C. Martin - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):106-107.
What a Rational Parser Would Do.John T. Hale - 2011 - Cognitive Science 35 (3):399-443.


Added to PP

35 (#390,837)

6 months
3 (#433,312)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile