Local and Universal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cuetos and Mitchell 1988, and much subsequent work, report that speakers of different languages differ in Relative Clause attachment preferences in complex NPs. These findings challenged universal theories of processing and in particular the universality of locality in parsing. In this paper, I argue that asymmetries in attachment preference stem from a previously unnoticed grammatical distinction: the availability of Pseudo Relatives. Drawing on previous data and novel results, I conclude that Locality is a genuine universal principle of processing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnjoy Linguistics!
Subtitle of host publicationPapers offered to Luigi Rizzi on the occasion of his 60th birthday
EditorsValentina Bianchi, Cristiano Chesi
Place of PublicationSiena
PublisherCISCL Press
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Sentence Processing
  • Memory
  • Locality
  • Universality of Parsing
  • Relative Clause Attachment
  • Pseudo Relatives

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