Syntactic representation Last week Lexical access: Split between syntactic information (lemma) and phonological (word-form) information Two models: Levelt et al (modular) Dell (interactive) This week From words to sentences Where does syntax fit into the model? Functional processing (grammatical functions) Positional processing (constituent structure) The nature of syntactic representations: Syntactic priming Lexical processing Lexical concepts (semantic content) Lemmas (syntactic content) Wordforms/lexemes (morpho-phonological content) From words to sentences Lexical entries that are retrieved must be combined into a syntactic structure. Usually hypothesised to involve two stages of processing (e.g., Garrett, 1980): Functional processing Positional processing Where do they fit? What is the functional level? Earliest level associated with linguistic processing. Input is a conceptual representation Output is a syntactic representation perhaps a tree structure built drawing upon lemma information Level where: lemma selection occurs these are associated with appropriate grammatical functions (e.g., subject, direct object). give’<postman, letter, doctor> > GIVE, POSTMAN, LETTER, DOCTOR > POSTMANSUBJ; LETTERDOBJ; DOCTORIOBJ What’s the evidence? Mostly from speech errors: Phrase/Word exchange errors: e.g. Most cities are true of that. Writing a mother to my letter. same grammatical category: usually non-adjacent (81%): hence grammatical information relevant. BUT: could this be meaning-related? hence unordered. usually within clause: hence domain of processing is usually one clause. Evidence from errors. Exchanging phrases/words are marked for grammatical function in landing position: e.g., She gives them the money NOT: Her gives they the money (Int: They give her the money) hence, not just misordering of words. Verbs usually agree with actual subject rather than intended subject. e.g. She gives them the money. Most cities are true of that. Unordered representation Linear order not specified at F-level. Not obvious for English: grammatical roles and order largely the same: SUBJECT = first NP in sentence DIRECT OBJECT = second NP in sentence e.g., ISUBJ like BillDOBJ - BillDOBJ likes meSUBJ but: ISUBJ can’t stand BenDOBJ, but BillDOBJ ISUBJ like Unordered representation (2) In other (more inflected) languages, grammatical function and linear order more easily separable: Junge = boy; Mann = man; Buch = book Der JungeSUBJ gab dem MannIOBJ das BuchDOBJ Dem MannIOBJ gab der JungeSUBJ das BuchDOBJ Das BuchDOBJ gab der JungeSUBJ dem MannIOBJ Das BuchDOBJ gab dem MannIOBJ der JungeSUBJ = The boy gave the man the book The positional level Second level associated with linguistic processing. Level where: lemmas and associated grammatical functions are converted into phrase structure. I.e, individual words are structured into larger linguistic units. Essentially, syntax as most people think of it The positional level GIVE(POSTMANSUBJ; LETTERDOBJ; DOCTORIOBJ) > What evidence is there? Theoretical linguistics: Substantial theoretical backing for level of structure defining hierarchical/linear relationships between abstract categories (phrase structure). Speech errors: Sound exchanges: caught tourses (taught courses), poppy of my caper (copy of my paper) Distance constraints: Garrett (1980) found 87% originate within same phrase. Pausing/intonation data: Correlation between pauses and phrase structure. E.g., Grosjean, Grosjean & Lane (1979) Syntactic priming Experimental evidence for abstract syntactic processing: syntactic priming (aka structural persistence) effects. Basic observation: Speakers repeat syntax in spontaneous speech. Schenkein (1980): A: Cor, the noise downstairs, you’ve got to hear and witness it to realise how bad it is. B: You have got to experience exactly the same position as me, mate, to understand how I feel. More examples Levelt & Kelter (1982): A: What time do you close? B: Six o’clock A: At what time do you close? B: At six o’clock Interpretational problems: Lexical repetition Question-answer sequences Why is this interesting? Priming effects: Processing one stimulus is affected by prior processing of another, related stimulus. e.g., NURSE - DOCTOR vs BREAD – DOCTOR DOCTOR is faster after NURSE than after BREAD The logic of priming Depends upon processor recognising relationship between two stimuli: informative about representation. Respond faster to DOCTOR after processing NURSE because using some of same representations/procedures. DOCTOR and NURSE are related (only) in meaning. Therefore, some aspect of lexical processing is concerned with meaning. Priming and representation Priming experiments Process stimulus with particular characteristics. Process subsequent stimulus which is related along only one dimension. If priming effect found (residual activation from processing first stimulus affects processing of second), then: Processor must be sensitive to that dimension of structure. So, if production involves stage of abstract syntactic representation, should find priming effects based upon syntactic structure. Experimental demonstrations Bock (1986) Running recognition memory task: Subjects make recognition decision for stimuli. Ostensibly to aid memory, subjects repeat sentences and describe pictures. Repeated sentences = primes Picture descriptions = targets Bock (1986) Example trial: Subject repeats sentence: The rock star sold some drugs to the undercover agent [Prepositional Object] Makes recognition decision: No Subject describes picture of girl handing paintbrush to man standing on stepladder: The girl is handing a paintbrush to the man [Prep Object] The girl is handing the man a paintbrush [Double Object] Bock (1986) Tendency to repeat structure: After repeating active sentence, produce active description; After repeating passive, produce passive; After repeating Prepositional Object [PO] (verb something to someone), produce PO; After repeating Double Object [DO] (verb somebody something), produce DO. The rock star sold the undercover agent some cocaine > The girl gives the man the brush No open class (= content) words in common. Excluding other explanations Based on repetition of closed class words? e.g. by in passives, to in PO Bock (1989): The secretary baked the cake for the boss The secretary gave the cake to the boss > The girl is handing the brush to the man - Hence, representations not specified for open class or closed class words Bock & Loebell (1990) Based upon event roles? Primes and targets involving ‘same’ (?) syntax but different roles: By-phrase can specify location or agency (who did action) The foreigner was loitering by the traffic light > The boy is being woken by the alarm clock • Based upon metrical structure? • Primes and targets involving different syntax but same metrical structure: * Susan bought the book to study Susan brought the book to Stella > The girl gives the brush to the man What are positional representations? Bock & colleagues: Abstract - not specified for lexical content; Specified for syntactic category. ‘Hierarchical configurations of sentences’ Features of positional representations Pickering & Branigan (1998): Sentence completion task PRIME: The bus driver gave the change…to the passenger Or: The bus driver gave the passenger…a ticket TARGET: The surgeon handed… …the nurse the scalpel (DO) …the scalpel to the nurse (PO) …out leaflets (Other) Features of positional representations Manipulations of verb form: Same vs different tense (hands/handed) Same vs different number (hands/hand) Same vs different aspect (hands/is handing) Results Priming occurred whether verb varied or not between prime and target; But stronger effects if verb remained the same. Changing the form of the verb didn’t affect priming: Give gave (tense) Was giving gave (aspect) Gives give (number) So the syntactic representations aren’t specified for verb form. Lexical repetition effect • Pickering and Branigan (1998) Priming is tied to a syntactic rule syntactic rules are linked to verb lemmas repeating a verb increases priming • Lemma Stratum: encodes syntactic information NP_NP NP_PP combination Verb GIVE Syntactic category - GIVE is linked to a PO rule and a DO rule Features of positional representations (2) Theoretical linguistics: Phrase Structure rules define local trees: Mother node and daughter node E.g. VP -> V NP PP Features of positional representations (3) Positional representations defined in terms of local trees: Bigger and smaller structure not specified. Does priming occur over local trees? Pickering & Branigan (1998): PO primes PO, DO primes DO – irrespective of the structure of NPs. e.g. The postman gave the letter to the doctor > The surgeon gave the sharp scalpel to the nervous nurse Local trees Local trees (2) Branigan, Pickering, McLean & Stewart (2004): Varied the syntactic context of the prime and target: The man knew that the postman handed the boy the parcel > The surgeon handed the nurse the scalpel The postman handed the boy the parcel > The consultant suspected that the surgeon handed the nurse the scalpel Priming occurred despite changes in context – so the same processes are involved in producing main and embedded clauses Pickering, Branigan & McLean (2002) Two possible models of syntax: S -> NP VP encodes dominance relations (S is mother of NP and VP – higher in the tree) encodes linear precedence relations (NP precedes VP in word order) During production, constituent structure could be generated in one stage or in two stages. Two models One-stage model: Phrases are assembled into structure that is specified for both phrasal composition and linear order: S -> NP VP Two-stage model: Dominance relations are defined at first stage, then at subsequent stage placed in linear order: Dominates(S,NP,VP) NP < VP Heavy NP Shift PO: The girl gave the wet paintbrush to the man V NP PP Shifted: The girl gave to the man the wet paintbrush V PP NP DO: The girl gave the man the wet paintbrush V NP NP PO and Shifted have exactly same constituents, but in different order. Method Spoken and written sentence completion: The girl gave the man… (DO) The girl gave the paintbrush…(PO) The girl gave to the man... (Shifted) Target: The teacher gave… Predictions If processing is one-stage, shifted and PO structures do not involve the same procedures/representations: they involve different phrase structure rules VP -> V NP PP VP -> V PP NP (PO) (Shifted) Therefore, shifted sentences should not prime PO sentences: they have nothing in common Predictions (2) If it is two-stage, shifted and PO structures involve some of the same procedures/representations: they involve the same dominance rules (though different linear precedence rules) dominates(VP,V,NP,PP) V < NP < PP (PO) V < PP < NP (shifted) Therefore, shifted sentences should prime PO sentences: they have dominance relations in common Results Proportion of PO targets/condition: PO prime DO prime Shifted prime Baseline prime .70 .46 .59 .62 Subjects produced significantly more POs after PO prime - but not after Shifted prime Shifted prime behaved like Baseline Conclusions Results are compatible with one-stage model: when producing sentence, fully-specified constituent structure is determined. both dominance (vertical relations in tree) and order (horizontal relations in tree) are specified. No evidence for separate linearisation process. Summary Functional processing Unordered representations Assignment of grammatical functions Influenced by conceptual factors (next week!) Positional processing: Ordered representations. Capture local syntactic relations. Specified for grammatical category: not open or closed class lexical content. Fully specified for hierarchical structure/linear order. Not subject to conceptual influences.