Parsing/Sentence Processing

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  • Sentence processing, also called parsing, refers to the moment-by-moment analysis of the speech signal involved in language comprehension. Consider the processes involved in comprehending a sentence. The listener must first identify regularities and structure in the speech stream to identify words (e.g., phonemes and syllables), which must then be used to build a syntactic and semantic analysis. The sentence must also be analyzed for its pragmatic intention as meaning is often nonliteral. Other cues, such as prosody, will also influence interpretation.

    When deconstructed in this manner, sentence processing is a complicated, nontrivial process, a cognitive feat made more remarkable by the fact that, as adults, individuals tend to process language so effortlessly. However, what about children who are still learning their native language? Analyzing speech ...

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