Language Down the Garden Path The Cognitive and Biological Basis of Linguistic Structures

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-09-25
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Thomas G. Bever's now iconic sentence, The horse raced past the barn fell, first appeared in his 1970 paper "The Cognitive Basis of Linguistic Structures". This 'garden path sentence', so-called because of the way it leads the reader or listener down the wrong parsing path, helped spawn the entire subfield of sentence processing. It has become the most often quoted element of a paper which spanned a wealth of research into the relationship between the grammatical system and language processing.

Language Down the Garden Path traces the lines of research that grew out of Bever's classic paper. Leading scientists review over 40 years of debates on the factors at play in language comprehension, production, and acquisition (the role of prediction, grammar, working memory, prosody, abstractness, syntax and semantics mapping); the current status of universals and narrow syntax; and virtually every topic relevant in psycholinguistics since 1970. Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book will appeal to all those interested in understanding the questions that shaped, and are still shaping, this field and the ways in which linguists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and neuroscientists are seeking to answer them.

Author Biography

Montserrat Sanz Yague received her PhD in Linguistics and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. She is currently Professor in the Department of Spanish at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (Japan). She leads a research team that explores the process of acquisition of Spanish by native speakers of Japanese. Her previous research on the syntax/semantics interface under Minimalist premises culminated in the book Events and Predication: A New Approach to Syntactic Processing in English and Spanish (John Benjamins, 2000). Recently she has published a book with Jose Manuel Igoa entitled Applying Language Science to Language Pedagogy: Contributions of Linguistics and Psycholinguistics to Language Teaching (Cambridge Scholars Publishing).

Itziar Laka received her PhD in Linguistics at MIT. She is Professor at the University of the Basque Country and Director of The Bilingual Mind research group. She is the author of Negation in Syntax (Garland, 1994), and A Brief Grammar of Euskara (1996). Her current research combines linguistics and psycholinguistics to explore the neural representation of linguistic structure in bilinguals.

Michael K. Tanenhaus received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1978. He taught at Wayne State University until 1983 when he moved to the University of Rochester. His research spans a wide range of topics in psycholinguistics, with a primary focus on real-time spoken language processing. In 2011, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Table of Contents

Reprint of 'The Cognitive Basis of Linguistic Structures', Thomas G. Bever
1. Sentence Comprehension Before and After 1970: Topics, debates, and techniques, Montserrat Sanz, Itziar Laka, and Michael K. Tanenhaus
2. Anticipating the Garden Path: The horse raced past the barn ate the cake, Gerry T. M. Altmann
3. Inviting Production to the Cognitive Basis party, Maryellen MacDonald
4. Thematic Templates and the Comprehension of Relative Clauses, Chien-Jer Charles Lin
5. The Processing Complexity of English Relative Clauses, Edward Gibson, Harry Tily, and Evelina Fedorenko
6. Prediction, Production, Priming, and Implicit Learning: A framework for psycholinguistics, Gary S. Dell and Audrey K. Kittredge
7. Enduring Themes in Sentence Comprehension: Projecting linguistic structures, David J. Townsend
8. The Multiple Bases for Linguistic Structures, Robert Berwick
9. Pronouncing and Comprehending Center-embedded Sentences, Janet Dean Fodor
10. Beyond Capacity: The role of memory processes in building linguistic structure in real-time, Brian McElree and Lisbeth Dyer
11. Neurotypology: Modelling cross-linguistic similarities and differences in the neurocognition of language comprehension, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Matthias Schlesewsky
12. The Path From Certain Events to Linguistic Uncertainties, Montserrat Sanz
13. On Abstraction and Language Universals, Massimo Piatteli-Palmarini
14. Determiners: An empirical argument for innateness, Virginia Valian
15. Anchoring Agreement, Simona Mancini, Nicola Molinaro, and Manuel Carreiras
16. Parser-grammar Relations: We don't understand everything twice, Colin Phillips
17. The Epicenter of Linguistic Behaviour, Edward Stabler
18. From Action to Language: Evidence and speculations, Luciano Fadiga and Alessandro D'Ausilio
19. The Mirror Theory of Language: A neuro-linguist's perspective, Yosef Grodzinsky
20. Some Issues in Current Language Acquisition Research, Jacques Mehler
21. A Bayesian Evaluation of the Cost of Abstractness, Ewan Dunbar, Brian Dillon, and William J. Idsardi
22. The Biolinguistics of Language Universals - the next years, Thomas G. Bever
Afterword: The Impact of The Cognitive Basis for Linguistic Structures: A retrospective reflection, reconstruction, and appreciation, Michael K. Tanenhaus

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