SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1: Ferreira, F., Bailey, K. G. D., & Ferraro, V. (2002). Good-enough representations in language comprehension. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 11-15.  

  • A summary article introducing “good-enough” language processing, revealing incorrect meanings for sentences, supporting incomplete or partial interpretation.  

Discussion Questions

  1. How is the good-enough approach different from the garden-path model and the constraint-satisfaction model?
  2. Given the evidence for the good-enough approach, do you think comprehenders (either listening or reading) can shift their mental resources to be more precise and better than good-enough? What kinds of factors might make you get the correct, compositional interpretation?

Article 2: Ferreira, V. S., Bock, K., Wilson, M. P., & Cohen, N. J. (2008). Memory for syntax despite amnesia. Psychological Science, 19, 940-946. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02180.x

  • An empirical study that examines syntactic persistence (priming) effects in amnesiacs and normal controls. Both groups showed syntactic  persistence, indicating that procedural rather than declarative memory traces likely underlie syntactic persistence effects.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe the differences between procedural and declarative memory. How do these concepts apply to those with anterograde amnesia?
  2. Using Figure 1, describe the procedure of the experiment, noting the prime, target, and memory test sentences. For which of these does the participant repeat a heard sentence vs. produce their own?
  3. Explain what the results were and how they supported the researchers’ hypotheses. Were amnesiacs the same as controls on syntactic persistence? How about for memory accuracy?

Article 3: Christophe, A., Millotte, S., Bernal, S., & Lidz, J. (2008). Bootstrapping lexical and syntactic acquisition. Language and Speech, 51(1-2), 61-75. doi: 10.1177/00238309080510010501

  • A summary paper of research indicating that phrasal prosody and function words can facilitate infants’ learning of parts of syntactic structure.

Discussion Questions

  1. Using the model shown in Figure 1, indicate which parts of the model were tested by the experiments in sections 2, 3, and 4. Pick out the sentence conditions compared for each section, and explain which of the boxes and arrows were manipulated in the experiments.  
  2. For which parts of this model did the authors find supporting evidence in infants? How about for adults?

Imagine that you are having a conversation with someone over the phone, but the quality of the signal is so bad you can’t really hear everything – maybe it’s really noisy, so you only hear some parts clearly. According to this model, what kind of information would be most helpful for you to make out? Give an example.