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The Continuity of Mind$
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Michael Spivey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170788

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170788.001.0001

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Temporal Dynamics in Language Comprehension

Temporal Dynamics in Language Comprehension

Chapter:
(p.169) 7 Temporal Dynamics in Language Comprehension
Source:
The Continuity of Mind
Author(s):

Michael Spivey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170788.003.0007

While acknowledging the importance of language dynamics at the time scales of biological evolution, cultural language change, and child development, this chapter focuses primarily on the time scale of continuous dynamics in real-time language comprehension. A brief history of research in the field of sentence processing is offered, addressing debates over continuous processing and over interactive processing. Special attention is paid to eye-tracking reading evidence (and normalized recurrence simulations) of context influencing online syntactic processing. Effects of visual context on spoken word recognition (along with simulations of human data) are also described in detail. It is argued that a fruitful approach to understanding language comprehension entails treating sentence, word, and even phoneme recognition as a continuous trajectory in a high-dimensional state space that “flirts” with attractor basins but is rarely allowed to “linger” in them.

Keywords:   psycholinguistics, language evolution, language change, language learning, syntax, semantics, sentence processing, word recognition, phoneme recognition

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