Backwards and forwards: Behavioral and neurophysiological investigations into dependency processing
AuthorWitzel, Jeffrey D.
AdvisorForster, Kenneth I.
Nicol, Janet L.
Committee ChairForster, Kenneth I.
Nicol, Janet L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the processing of sentences involving long-distance linguistic dependencies, or sentences containing elements that must be linked across intervening words and phrases. Specifically, both behavioral (self-paced reading and eye tracking) and neurophysiological (electroencephalography) methods were used (a) to evaluate the relative importance of backward- and forward-looking dependency satisfaction processes in the comprehension of sentences involving wh-dependencies and (b) to determine the extent to which common neurocognitive mechanisms are involved the processing of wh- and anaphoric dependencies. With respect to the first issue, both behavioral andneurophysiological results indicated a core role for forward-looking, expectancy-based processes in the comprehension of wh-dependency sentences. Regarding the latter issue, despite considerable overlap in the reading patterns associated with wh-dependencies and (at least some types of) anaphora, the neurophysiological responses related to these dependency types indicated that their processing draws on distinct neurocognitive mechanisms.