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Minimalist Parsing as a Psycholinguistic Model

Speaker: 
Aniello De Santo (University of Utah)
Event time: 
Friday, October 16, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event description: 

Computational models grounded in rich grammatical formalisms can be used to explore whether — and to which degree — the structural representations hypothesizedbytheoreticallinguistsarerelevantto sentenceprocessing. In this talk, I present a line of work exploring how a top-down parser for Minimalist grammars (Stabler, 1996; MGs) can explain well-known contrasts in off-line sentence processing in terms of subtle structural differences. This model is especially suited to probe the relation between syntactic and processing complexity, as it specifies: 1) a formalized theory of syntax; 2) a sound and complete parser for the grammatical formalism; 3) a linking theory between syntactic assumptions andprocessing behavior, in the form of metrics measuringmemoryusage. As a first case study, I discuss the model’s performance on the off-line processing asymmetries reported for Italian post-verbal subject constructions. Then, I present ongoing work evaluating the MG parser as a good, nonprobabilistic formal model of how gradient acceptability can be derived from categoricalgrammars. By investigating the MG model’s performance across a diverse array of processing phenomena, this project aims to add support to the psychological plausibility of fine-grained grammatical knowledge contributing to processing cost. By investigating the MG model’s performance across a diverse array of processing phenomena, this project aims to add support to the psychological plausibility of fine-grained grammatical knowledge contributing to processing cost.

Zoom Link: 

https://yale.zoom.us/j/95309038590?pwd=Y0d2OUpBclBQcjlhUGU4RTVoOGg2QT09&from=msft

Open To: 
Event Type: 
Lunch Talks