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On Concepts, Modules, and LanguageCognitive Science at Its Core$
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Roberto G. de Almeida and Lila R. Gleitman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190464783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190464783.001.0001

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The Modularity of Sentence Processing Reconsidered

The Modularity of Sentence Processing Reconsidered

(p.63) 3 The Modularity of Sentence Processing Reconsidered
On Concepts, Modules, and Language

Fernanda Ferreira

James Nye

Oxford University Press

Today, the modular view of sentence processing is unpopular, but the arguments against modularity are not as strong as this apparent consensus would suggest. Almost all experimental investigations of modularity have focused on properties pertaining to information encapsulation, and most of those studies have evaluated just one specific modular architecture. A review of these studies of sentence comprehension suggests that the evidence against information encapsulation is really evidence against that one architecture only, and a whole range of other possible modular architectures remain untested. Although psycholinguistic work has largely ignored the modularity claims relating to shallow outputs, new findings from studies to test “good enough” language processing suggest that the output of the language processing module can be characterized as shallow or minimal. Perhaps, then, the modularity hypothesis was prematurely rejected. Evidence for shallow outputs provides intriguing new support for the idea that sentence processing is indeed modular.

Keywords:   eyetracking, garden-path model, good-enough processing, information encapsulation, lexical processing, parsing, prosody, shallow processing, top-down processing, two-stage model of parsing

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