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Author ORCID Identifier
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Dr. Brian Dillon
Dr. Lyn Frazier
Dr. Kyle Johnson
Dr. Adrian Staub
Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics | Syntax
It has been claimed that comprehenders use the Binding Theory (Chomsky, 1986) to restrict the search for a reflexive’s antecedent in early stages of comprehension (Dillon, Mishler, Sloggett, & Phillips, 2013; Sturt, 2003; Nicol & Swinney, 1989) However, recent findings challenge this view, demonstrating that comprehenders occasionally access antecedents on the basis of their match with a reflexive’s morphosyntactic features (Chen, Jäger, & Vasishth, 2012; Patil, Lewis, & Vasishth, 2016, Parker, & Phillips, 2017). In this dissertation, I investigate the source of this ’grammatical fallibility’ in the real-time application of Principle A of the Binding Theory. Specifically, I ask whether this pattern of behavior is the direct consequence of an error-prone retrieval mechanism, or if it is instead the result of a discourse-oriented, logophoric interpretation of reflexive forms. This work presents four experiments demonstrating that comprehenders only consider non-Principle A antecedents which act as prominent perspective holders in the discourse. I explain these findings by appealing to local, logophoric center available for reflexive reference.
Sloggett, Shayne, "When errors aren't: How comprehenders selectively violate Binding Theory" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations. 1125.