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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54596
Doc. No:TL24550
Call number:‭3378640‬
Main Entry:Amit Shaked
Title & Author:Attachment ambiguities in Hebrew complex nominals: Prosody and parsingAmit Shaked
College:City University of New York
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:391
Abstract:This dissertation investigates the prosody-syntax interface in two Hebrew complex nominals. Their meaning is identical but their syntax and phonology differ. The free state (FS) nominal is similar to English (e.g., the coach of the wrestler ). The construct state (CS) nominal lacks the preposition, has stress on the second noun, and the construction constitutes one phonological word despite its internal syntactic structure. When followed by a relative clause (RC) the two constructions (1a,b) are syntactically/semantically ambiguous in the same way; but they contrast prosodically because one of the phrasing patterns permitted for FS (a boundary between the two nouns) is inhibited for CS. (1) (a) FS: ha-me'amen sel ha-mit'agref se-paras le'axar ha-taxarut (b) CS: me'amen ha-mit'agref se-paras le'axar ha-taxarut; (the-)coach of the-wrestler who-retired after the-fight Research on the relative clause attachment ambiguity has shown that different languages and constructions vary in attachment preferences; it is important to investigate factors that may contribute to attachment decisions, because this variation threatens the universality and innateness of the human sentence processing routines. In recent years, much research has focused on a prosodic explanation: The Implicit Prosody Hypothesis (Fodor, 2002) proposes that attachment choices in silent reading are affected by implicit prosody mentally projected onto the sentence by readers, on the basis of language-specific phonological rules. Since implicit prosody cannot be directly observed, it is investigated by studying overt prosody in speaking and listening. This dissertation thus provides data on prosodic phrasing in Hebrew and its relation to the processing of the RC-attachment construction. Three experiments are reported: a production experiment studied speakers' preferred prosodic patterns for each construction; a listening study examined how the preferred interpretation differed for different prosodic contours; a silent reading experiment investigated the interpretation when no overt prosody was provided. For the FS sentences the results of the three experiments concurred, indicating that RC-attachment is sensitive to prosody, both explicit and implicit. For the CS, prosody was also found to play a role but some other factor(s) intrinsic to the construction resulted in consistently higher RC-attachment.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Complex nominals; Hebrew; Perception; Production; Prosody; Relative clauses; Parsing; Linguistics; 0290:Linguistics
Added Entry:J. Fodor
Added Entry:City University of New York