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Sentence Comprehension : The Integration of Habits and Rules - David Townsend

Sentence Comprehension

The Integration of Habits and Rules

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Using sentence comprehension as a case study for all of cognitive science, David Townsend and Thomas Bever offer an integration of two major approaches, the symbolic-computational and the associative-connectionist. The symbolic-computational approach emphasizes the formal manipulation of symbols that underlies creative aspects of language behavior. The associative-connectionist approach captures the intuition that most behaviors consist of accumulated habits. The authors argue that the sentence is the natural level at which associative and symbolic information merge during comprehension.The authors develop and support an analysis-by-synthesis model that integrates associative and symbolic information in sentence comprehension. This integration resolves problems each approach faces when considered independently. The authors review classic and contemporary symbolic and associative theories of sentence comprehension, and show how recent developments in syntactic theory fit well with the integrated analysis-by-synthesis model. They offer analytic, experimental, and neurological evidence for their model and discuss its implications for broader issues in cognitive science, including the logical necessity of an integration of symbolic and connectionist approaches in the field.

Industry Reviews

"An ambitious and provocative new look at many of the classic issues in sentence processing. Townsend and Bever integrate a large body of past and current results in a novel 'constraints-first/syntax-last' model, while deftly addressing central debates in the cognitive sciences about the mental status of rules and constraints."--Michael K. Tanenhaus, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester "This monograph presents a comprehensive review of current models of sentence comprehension, set within a valuable historical perspective, and a new model that seeks to reconcile the major differences between theories in the field. Researchers and students will find it a valuable and provocative work."--David Caplan, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
The Sentence as a Case Study in Cognitive Sciencep. 1
The Sentence Is a Natural Level of Linguistic Representationp. 2
The Integration of Habits and Symbolsp. 5
Classical Evidence for the Sentencep. 11
Early Ideas about the Sentencep. 11
Banishment of the Sentencep. 13
Revival of the Sentencep. 20
Unlinking Knowledge and Behaviorp. 20
The Search for a Behaviorally Relevant Grammarp. 37
The Reemergence of Associationismp. 41
Conclusion: The Mystery of Structurep. 43
What Every Psychologist Should Know about Grammarp. 45
The Architecture of Syntaxp. 46
Constant Features of Syntactic Structuresp. 47
Arguments, Movement, and Derivationsp. 52
The Architectures Relating Meaning and Syntaxp. 62
Conclusion and Implicationsp. 81
Contemporary Models of Sentence Comprehensionp. 83
The Problem of Comprehensionp. 83
Structural Modelsp. 86
Statistical Modelsp. 120
Grains of Truthp. 146
Conclusion: Implications for an Integrated Modelp. 150
Embedding the Grammar in a Comprehension Modelp. 157
Syntactic Derivations and Probabilistic Information in Comprehensionp. 157
Analysis by Synthesisp. 160
A Case Study: The Passivep. 167
Pseudosyntax, Real Syntax, and the Grain Problemp. 172
Some Basic Facts Consistent with the Modelp. 180
Conclusion: The Heightened Clarity of Grammatical Speechp. 184
Basic Evidence for the Modelp. 187
Pseudosyntaxp. 187
Meaningp. 203
Real Syntaxp. 209
Introspection and Sentence Processingp. 226
Conclusionp. 245
Canonical Sentence Templatesp. 247
Reduced Relative Clauses out of Contextp. 248
Reduced Relative Clauses in Contextp. 273
Full Relative Clausesp. 286
Direct-Object/Sentential Complementp. 293
Sentential Complement/Relative Clausep. 300
Direct Object/Subjectp. 305
Conjoined Noun Phrase/Coordinate Clausep. 312
Interactions of Complex Subcategorizationsp. 313
Conclusionp. 316
Conceptual Knowledge, Modularity, and Discoursep. 317
Parallel Syntactic and Semantic Analysesp. 317
Intersentential Contextsp. 324
Sentence-Internal Contexts and Connectivesp. 335
Conclusion: Representations, Discourses, and Modulesp. 359
Relation to Other Systems of Language Usep. 361
Acquisition and Comprehensionp. 361
Neurological Evidence for the Modelp. 377
Conclusionp. 397
Implicationsp. 399
Summaryp. 399
Cognitive Architecture, the Grain Problem, and Consciousnessp. 403
Referencesp. 409
Author Indexp. 433
Subject Indexp. 437
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262700801
ISBN-10: 0262700808
Series: Language, Speech, and Communication
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 460
Published: 1st July 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 17.8  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.88