Does antecedent complexity affect ellipsis processing? An empirical investigation

Abstract

In two self-paced reading experiments, we investigated the effect of changes in antecedent complexity on processing times for ellipsis. Pointer- or “sharing”-based approaches to ellipsis processing (Frazier & Clifton 2001, 2005; Martin & McElree 2008) predict no effect of antecedent complexity on reading times at the ellipsis site while other accounts predict increased antecedent complexity to either slow down processing (Murphy 1985) or to speed it up (Hofmeister 2011). Experiment 1 manipulated antecedent complexity and elision, yielding evidence against a speedup at the ellipsis site and in favor of a null effect. In order to investigate possible superficial processing on part of participants, Experiment 2 manipulated the amount of attention required to correctly respond to end-of-sentence comprehension probes, yielding evidence against a complexity-induced slowdown at the ellipsis site. Overall, our results are compatible with pointer-based approaches while casting doubt on the notion that changes antecedent complexity lead to measurable differences in ellipsis processing speed.

Keywords

antecedent complexity, ellipsis processing, memory pointer, self-paced reading, Bayes factor

How to Cite

Paape, D. & Nicenboim, B. & Vasishth, S., (2017) “Does antecedent complexity affect ellipsis processing? An empirical investigation”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1), p.77. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.290

412

Views

266

Downloads

Share

Authors

Dario Paape (University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24–25, D-14476 Potsdam)
Bruno Nicenboim (University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24–25, D-14476 Potsdam)
Shravan Vasishth (University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24–25, D-14476 Potsdam)

Download

Issue

Publication details

Dates

Licence

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Identifiers

Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

File Checksums (MD5)

  • PDF: 884c4f8c651c3e75f0967973d87c4f5d