Long-distance Dependencies

    • Reflexives & Logophoricity: A large body of theoretical and psycholinguistic research is concerned with the formulation and application of principles governing anaphoric reference (Binding Theory). Recent experimental work seems to show that, in some cases, reflexive pronouns can be sensitive to antecedents which are predicted to be inaccessible on standard accounts. I investigate the possibility that a logophoric use of reflexives underlies this sensitivity using offline rating and interpretation surveys, as well as online eyetracking-while-reading experiments. These studies show that reflexives are more sensitive to non-local referents which are the subject of speech verbs, and less sensitive in the presence of indexical (first/second person) pronouns. Such findings are expected if reflexives attend to non-local referents which are, themselves, logophoric (i.e. persepctive) centers.
    • Inductive Agreement Learning: Agreement processes are often taken as primitive operations of syntactic theory, with relatively little focus on how these morphosyntactic dependencies might be induced by a learner. This project adapts the Minimal Generalization Learner developed for morpho-phonological learning by Albright and Hayes (2002) to syntactic environments in an attempt to gain traction on the agreement learning problem.
    • Case Licensing in Processing: Recent psycholinguistic investigations of verb agreement have revealed an important role for cue-based retrieval in agreement dependency processing. This project extends such work to case dependencies, showing that the same intrusion pattern observed for verb agreement can be observed in dative case dependencies in German.