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Share Paper 1456

Subject Preference in the Processing of Relative Clauses in Chinese
Chien-Jer Charles Lin and Thomas G. Bever
254-260 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


A controversy regarding relative-clause processing was raised by Hsiao and Gibson (2003), who showed a processing preference for object extractions in Mandarin Chinese. This article argues that Hsiao and Gibson's claim of an object preference was invalid as their experiment was confounded. Two sets of experimental evidence from Mandarin—the self-paced reading of regular relative clauses and that of possessor relative clauses—showed a preference for subject extractions. As the controversy is removed, the Incremental Minimalist Parsing theory is discussed to account for this universal parsing preference.

Published in

Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00