LG462-7-AU-CO:
Sentence Processing

The details
2019/20
Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
15
28 March 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

MA Q16012 English Language and Linguistics,
MA Q15012 Psycholinguistics

Module description

Understanding spoken or written language requires the rapid, incremental processing of novel compositional structures. On top of this, we must also integrate multiple sources of additional information, such as the prior discourse, physical context, social information, etc. How are humans able to efficiently accomplish this task? To address this question, this course will consider principles of sentence processing that guide language understanding and features of lexical & sentence structure that facilitate comprehension. Specific topics are likely to include lexical access, reference processing, the role of working memory, the use of visual context, and computational models of language comprehension.

Module aims

This course aims to:
• Provide students with an introduction to current theories of language processing
• Enable students to think critically about research methods used in psycholinguistics
• Promote the acquisition of ‘transferable skills’, including data literacy, academic writing, and theoretical argumentation which will be useful beyond the scope of this module.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. understand and assess current scientific debates psycholinguistics
2. summarise and present empirical results clearly and accurately;
3. critically evaluate theoretical approaches and research methods used in sentence processing research
4. understand and appreciate the relationship between linguistic theory and language processing.
5. present ideas in a structured and coherent way, using appropriate style and terminology, and demonstrating clarity, precision, accuracy and originality.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This course consists of 10 weekly 2-hour lectures.

Bibliography

  • A. D., Baddeley. (2003) 'Working memory: looking back and looking forward.', in Nature Reviews. Neuroscience.
  • Frazier, LynRayner, Keith. (Oct 1, 1987) 'Resolution of Syntactic Category Ambiguities: Eye Movements in Parsing Lexically Ambiguous Sentences', in Journal of Memory and Language. vol. 26 (5)
  • van Gompel, R. P. G. (2013) Sentence processing, New York: Psychology Press.
  • Frazier, Lyn; Fodor, Janet Dean. (1978-1) 'The sausage machine: A new two-stage parsing model', in Cognition. vol. 6 (4) , pp.291-325
  • Traxler, Matthew J.; Williams, Rihana S.; Blozis, Shelley A.; Morris, Robin K. (2005) 'Working memory, animacy, and verb class in the processing of relative clauses?', in Journal of Memory and Language. vol. 53 (2) , pp.204-224
  • Trueswell, John C.; Sekerina, Irina; Hill, Nicole M.; Logrip, Marian L. (1999) 'The kindergarten-path effect: studying on-line sentence processing in young children', in Cognition. vol. 73 (2) , pp.89-134
  • P. C., Gordon; R, Hendrick; M, Johnson. (2001) Memory interference during language processing.
  • Groot, A. M. B. deHagoort, Peter. (no date) Research Methods in Psycholinguistics and the Neurobiology of Language : A Practical Guide: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Trueswell, John; Tanenhaus, Michael; Kello, Christopher. (1993) Verb-specific constraints in sentence processing: Separating effects of lexical preference from garden-paths. By: Trueswell, John C., Tanenhaus, Michael K., Kello, Christopher: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. vol. 19 (3)
  • Gordon, Peter C.; Grosz, Barbara J.; Gilliom, Laura A. (1993) 'Pronouns, Names, and the Centering of Attention in Discourse', in Cognitive Science. vol. 17 (3) , pp.311-347
  • Gibson, E. (2006) 'The interaction of top–down and bottom–up statistics in the resolution of syntactic category ambiguity', in Journal of Memory and Language. vol. 54 (3) , pp.363-388
  • van Gompel, R. P. G. (2013) Sentence processing, Hove: Psychology Press. vol. Current issues in the psychology of language
  • Traxler, Matthew J.; Pickering, Martin J. (1996) 'Plausibility and the Processing of Unbounded Dependencies:An Eye-Tracking Study', in Journal of Memory and Language. vol. 35 (3) , pp.454-475
  • Caplan, D. & Waters, G. (1999) 'Verbal working memory and sentence comprehension', in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. vol. 22 (1) , pp.77-94

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Oral Presentation 25%
Coursework 2500 Word Essay 20/12/2019 75%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Laurel Lawyer
Laurel Lawyer, 4.340, 1206 872 087, l.lawyer@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
No
No
No

External examiner

Dr Sarah Ann Liszka
Senior Lecturer
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 18 (90%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Linguistics

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