AuthorVeres, Csaba, 1964-
AdvisorForster, Kenneth I.
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.
AbstractSemantic plausibility has been shown to affect a number of sentence processing tasks, including reading, sentence matching, and RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation). In this thesis it is argued that anomaly, and not plausibility is the critical variable. Unfortunately the distinction between anomaly and implausibility has not traditionally been a clear one, and definitions can vary depending on the semantic theory that is being adopted. The experiments reported in this thesis are aimed at finding a clearly definable distinction between anomalous and implausible sentences, and to show a reliable empirical consequence of the distinction. The major emphasis is placed on the sentence matching task, which has been claimed to be sensitive to a very specific level of syntactic processing, and to be unaffected by extraneous variables. Experiments 1 and 2, however, demonstrate the very clear effect of a semantic manipulation, on the sentence matching task. Experiments 3, 4, and 5 were designed to refine our understanding of the aspect of the manipulation that was critical. Finally in experiment 6, it is argued that the violation of basic conceptual categories which have been argued to organize lexical/conceptual structure, is the only circumstance under which the effect of meaning is seen in the sentence matching task, and possibly the reading task. Experiment 7 shows that the same conclusion is true for the RSVP task. These conclusions are considered in the light of Jackendoff's (1983) and Pustejovsy's (1990) theory of semantics. It is further argued that a close symbiotic relationship can exist between these formal theories, and the empirical findings.
Degree ProgramGraduate College