Cognition, Vol. 3, No. 3 by J. Mehler & T. G. Bever (Editors)

By J. Mehler & T. G. Bever (Editors)

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Extra resources for Cognition, Vol. 3, No. 3

Example text

In’ is more general than ‘on’ since a container refers to three dimensions but a surface is only two-dimensional. ‘in’, ‘on’, and ‘under’revisited 247 Thus Clark makes the analogy between ‘in’ and ‘on’, on the one hand, and adjectives such as ‘big’ and ‘tall’ on the other. There is an obvious weakness in such an analogy. Though ‘big’ to some extent subsumes the meaning of ‘tall’, ‘in’ does not subsume the meaning of ‘on’. Likewise, ‘big’ can be substituted for ‘tall’ but ‘in’ cannot be substituted for ‘on’ without a major alteration in meaning.

With potentially ambiguous sentences of this type, it is often the case, however, 240 Catherine Garvey, Alfonso Caramazza, and Jack Yates , that subjects seem to prefer one reading over another. At the level of linguistic description this bias for one reading would be inconsequential ~ it would be ascribed to performance variables. At the psychological level, on the other hand, the bias supplies an important source of information on how a subject may actually determine the specific meaning of a particular sentence.

001) and sentence 2 reveals only a slight drift in assignment. Sentence 3 reveals no difference between the congruent and non-congruent collocations. 001). Thus, Tables 5 and 6 together show that the status values of the NPl and NP2, as these interact with the lexical meaning of the verb, appear to be a factor in determining pronoun assignment. These results provide independent confirmation of the interaction of components in sentential structures (Heise, 1970). The patterning of results for this complex variable suggests that the evaluative loading of the verb plays a role in producing a congruent collocation.

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