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Sentence comprehension of event structure in English and Japanese : an evaluation of the interaction between grammatical aspect and lexical aspect

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Item Summary

Title: Sentence comprehension of event structure in English and Japanese : an evaluation of the interaction between grammatical aspect and lexical aspect
Authors: Hara, Yukie
Keywords: Time
Issue Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Abstract: When we describe situations in daily life, we use temporal cues in language, such as tense, properties of events in verbs (lexical aspect), and forms of progressive or perfective (grammatical aspect). These cues play a role in conveying and interpreting when an event takes place and whether the event is ongoing or completed. Psycholinguistic studies have reported effects of these cues in sentence processing, although the possibility of interaction effects between them has been underexplored. Attested effects of grammatical aspect may be those of interaction with lexical aspect. Certain combinations of lexical and grammatical aspect are favored in child language across languages, and recent studies have reported that certain combinations also facilitate adult sentence processing. Moreover, the effect of grammatical aspect may not equally influence an entire event representation, but focus on specific event parts highlighted by interaction with lexical aspect.
This dissertation focuses on interaction between grammatical aspect and other sources of temporal cues in sentence processing. Experiment 1 examined English processing in cases of mismatch between lexical and grammatical aspect. Experiments 2, 3, 4, and 5 tested English and Japanese to identify whether the higher processing cost of imperfective over perfective sentences comes from event durativity or grammatical aspect. Event focus is explored in Japanese, where the imperfective aspect can focus on ongoing event parts (progressive reading) or an end-state (resultative reading), by interaction with lexical aspect. Experiments 6, 7, 8, and 9 investigated the resiliency of event representations marked by grammatical aspect in light of the role of event focus in Japanese.
The findings did not support the study's original assumptions that the interaction of grammatical aspect and lexical aspect has an effect on sentence processing. Grammatical aspect's manifestation of its role and effects is not interfered with by interaction with lexical aspect; at the same time, its psychological reality in human sentence processing is not as universally stable as previous studies assume.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Linguistics

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