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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52471
Doc. No:TL22425
Call number:‭3290304‬
Main Entry:Heidi Lorimor
Title & Author:Conjunctions and grammatical agreementHeidi Lorimor
College:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:222
Abstract:This dissertation investigates the factors involved in producing agreement, using evidence from conjoined subjects in English and Lebanese Arabic. Specifically, the goal was to test psycholinguistic and syntactic theories of agreement by examining the relative contributions of lexical number, notional number, adjacency, and linear word order in agreement with conjoined subjects, and contrasting English agreement patterns with Lebanese Arabic, which allows closest conjunct agreement with postverbal subjects. Corpus data and sentence production experiments were used to test hypotheses about the mechanisms involved in producing agreement. A search of American English sentences from the World Wide Web revealed that speakers often produce singular verbs with conjoined subjects (28% singular verbs overall), but less often when the conjunctions involved animate or plural nouns. To investigate these patterns experimentally, English-speaking participants heard, repeated, and completed subject noun phrases as full sentences, thus producing a verb. The experiment produced results similar to the corpus search, with conjunctions involving singular, abstract nouns eliciting more singular verbs than plural verbs. In a second study involving both Lebanese Arabic and English speakers, a picture description task manipulated the position of the subject relative to the verb and revealed that singular verbs were much more frequent with postverbal (versus preverbal) subjects and that lexically plural nouns were stronger enforcers of plural agreement than conjoined singular subjects in both Lebanese Arabic and English. Adjacency also played a role, as plural nouns in furthest conjunct position did not enforce plural agreement in the same way as plural nouns that were linearly adjacent to the verb. These results indicate that notional information, lexical plurality, adjacency, and linear (surface) word order play significant roles in the computation and production of agreement. The results also shed light on the nature of closest conjunct agreement and on the number of stages involved in producing grammatical agreement.
Subject:Psychology; Language, literature and linguistics; Agreement; Arabic; Conjunctions; Coordination; Grammatical agreement; Language production; Psycholinguistics; Syntax; Linguistics; Cognitive therapy; 0633:Cognitive therapy; 0290:Linguistics
Added Entry:J. K. Bock
Added Entry:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign