Working Memory and Sentence Processing : The Roles of Referentiality, Structure and Modality

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2012
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Zusammenfassung

This thesis investigates the role of working memory in sentence processing. In order to be able to successfully comprehend a sentence, it is elementary that grammatical information is buffered for a short time in order to be retrieved again at a later point in the parsing process. However, we know that the cognitive abilities of humans are very limited when it comes to buffering over the short term. The reason, why this is so, is one of the underlying questions in current psycholinguistic research. The aim of this work is to contribute to the clarification of those central questions. This will be done on the basis of own experimental work. The following three main topics will be in the focus of this thesis:



First, what is the underlying mechanism that limits capacity in working memory? Domemory traces decay over time or is interference of competing memory traces the source of forgetting over the short term?


Second, if intervening material leads to interference effects, which attributes of the interveningmaterial are crucial to an increase in sentence complexity? Is it the pure number of words or is it grammatical complexity?


Third, is there a difference between processing visual and auditory stimuli? Which influence does the modality have on understanding sentences? How does modality influence working memory processes in language parsing?

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
400 Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistik
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working memory, sentence processing, sentence complexity, locality, anti-locality, human parser, interference, trace decay, garden-path effect, syntax, Satzverarbeitung
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ISO 690HOPP, Simon, 2012. Working Memory and Sentence Processing : The Roles of Referentiality, Structure and Modality [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz
BibTex
@phdthesis{Hopp2012Worki-26592,
  year={2012},
  title={Working Memory and Sentence Processing : The Roles of Referentiality, Structure and Modality},
  author={Hopp, Simon},
  address={Konstanz},
  school={Universität Konstanz}
}
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February 28, 2012
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