LEAP workshop

February 9, 2024 | 11:00AM
Wieboldt 408

Our second LEAP meeting of the quarter will take place this Friday, 9 February at 11 am in Wieboldt 408 and on Zoom.

Sanghee Kim (PhD Candidate, Linguistics, UChicago) will be giving a talk entitled, Encoding discourse structure information during language comprehension: Evidence from web-based visual world paradigm experiments. Here is the abstract:

Encoding discourse structure information during language comprehension: Evidence from web-based visual world paradigm experiments

This study explores the way discourse structure-related information is used during the encoding of linguistic representations, using the distinction between main and subordinate information as a case study. We use the two contrasting constructions: (a) “The singers[+main] who admired the violinists[+main] invited their mentors to the party”; and (b) “The singers[+main], who admired the violinists[+subordinate], invited their mentors to the party.” While both contain discourse-main information, (b) includes discourse-subordinate information in the clause, (the singers) admired the violinists. Importantly, the singers and the violinists are both plausible antecedents for their, but the overlap in discourse structure information between the two NPs differs: (a) has an overlap ({[+main], [+main]}); (b) has no overlap ({[+main], [+subordinate]}). We found evidence through two web-based eye-tracking experiments using a visual world paradigm that the overlap in discourse structure leads to a competition effect between the two NPs, evidenced by smaller eye-gaze differences between the two NPs in (a) compared to (b). We also find that this competition effect manifests early, even before the relevant information needs to be retrieved, i.e., before pronoun resolution. I will also talk about my experience in using PCIbex for conducting a visual world paradigm eye-tracking experiment, including the caveats and practical challenges as well as the benefits of using it.

Some details:

  • Wieboldt 408 is a bit tricky to find. I would suggest either:

    1. Accessing the building through the entrance that’s located in the passage between E. 59th St. and the Quad, which faces the entrance to Classics. You can then take the staircase on your left up to the 4th floor.

    2. Accessing the building through Classics. Take the elevator to the 4th floor of Classics; the 4th floor of Wieboldt and the 4th floor of Classics are connected.

    • I would not recommend accessing Wieboldt from the Harper Library side or using the Wieboldt elevator. They are not connected to 408 the way you might expect.

    • I will monitor my inbox right before the meeting in case you get lost!