|Titre||Processing of ellipsis with garden-path antecedents in French and German: Evidence from eye tracking|
|Publication Type||Article de revue|
|Année de publication||2018|
|Authors||Paape, Dario, Barbara Hemforth, and Shravan Vasishth|
|Date de publication||06/2018|
In a self-paced reading study on German sluicing, Paape (Paape, 2016) found that reading times were shorter at the ellipsis site when the antecedent was a temporarily ambiguous garden-path structure. As a post-hoc explanation of this finding, Paape assumed that the antecedent’s memory representation was reactivated during syntactic reanalysis, making it easier to retrieve. In two eye tracking experiments, we subjected the reactivation hypothesis to further empirical scrutiny. Experiment 1, carried out in French, showed no evidence in favor in the reactivation hypothesis. Instead, results for one out of the three types of garden-path sentences that were tested suggest that subjects sometimes failed to resolve the temporary ambiguity in the antecedent clause, and subsequently failed to resolve the ellipsis. The results of Experiment 2, a conceptual replication of Paape’s (Paape, 2016) original study carried out in German, are compatible with the reactivation hypothesis, but leave open the possibility that the observed speedup for ambiguous antecedents may be due to occasional retrievals of an incorrect structure.