Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New paper (Engelmann, Jäger, Vasishth)

Here is a new paper by Felix Engelmann and Lena Jäger and myself that people interested in sentence comprehension processes may be interested in.

The determinants of retrieval interference in dependency resolution: Review and computational modeling

We report a comprehensive literature review of retrieval interference in reflexive-antecedent dependencies, number agreement, and non-agreement subject-verb dependencies, and computationally evaluate the predictions of cue-based retrieval theory with reference to published results. A novel finding from the review and modeling is that, contrary to claims in the literature, results on number agreement are not entirely compatible with cue-based retrieval theory. We also show that the cue-based retrieval account in its current form cannot explain several reported interference effects, such as (i) speed-ups observed in presence of a syntactically unlicensed distractor when the correct dependent is a full match to the retrieval cues and (ii) slow-downs when the correct dependent only partially matches the retrieval cues.  We demonstrate that these effects can be explained by two theoretical and independently motivated constructs: distractor prominence and cue confusion. The cue-based retrieval model is therefore extended to incorporate distractor prominence and cue confusion, and quantitative predictions are derived from this extended model. We show that the extended cue-based retrieval model provides a better explanation of published results than the classical retrieval account.

The pdf is here:


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