McLing is pleased to announce a special colloquium talk this week. Please take note that the talk will be in the Arts building instead of the usual Education building.
Speaker: Ming Xiang (University of Chicago)
Date: May 1, 2015
Time: 3:30 – 5pm
Location: Arts West 120
Title: The parsing mechanism of non-local covert dependencies
Abstract: While modeling the cross-linguistic structural variation, linguistic analysis often postulates abstract “covert” representations that do not have any morpho-phonological reflexes in the surface word string. Little is known as to whether such representations are actually constructed in language comprehension and production. In this talk, I will examine the processing of Mandarin wh-in-situ questions, which share the same word order with regular declarative sentences but have a semantics identical to their English counterpart wh-questions. Drawing on data from production, eyetracking-reading, and speed-accuracy tradeoff paradigms, I will address two questions: (i) Does the parser construct a covert non-local syntactic dependency in processing? (ii) What are the parsing mechanisms that support such covert dependencies? How similar/different are they from the processing of overt non-local dependencies?
The talk will be followed by a reception outside Arts West 120. This event is sponsored by the Mellon Foundation.