language and (sharply bounded) memory
We are developing theories of the mental architecture that supports language processing—especially the short-term memory system that allows us to keep in mind and revise the partial interpretation (or generation) of earlier parts of a sentence while relating it to the rest. Our recent work advances and empirically defends (through detailed cross-linguistic studies of reading, including eye-tracking) a number of specific hypotheses about the principles that govern how this memory system works.
A key feature of this work is that the proposed principles—such as similarity-based interference and a sharply limited focus—are general ones that have broad explanatory power in domains outside of sentence processing. Our theories of sentence processing are intended to explain how we are functionally able to comprehend and produce complex language structures despite these constraints, and to understand precisely how the constraints leave their mark on linguistic behavior.
The work touches on a number of core issues in sentence processing, including the complexity of embedded structures, processing of verb-final structures, and reanalysis.
For more related work, visit Shravan Vasishth's website at Potsdam.
key overview publications
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Lewis, R. L., Shvartsman, M., and Singh, S. (2013). The adaptive nature of eye-movements in linguistic tasks: How payoff and architecture shape speed-accuracy tradeoffs. Topics in Cognitive Science, 5(3):583-610. [ ]
Bratman, J., Shvartsman, M., Lewis, R. L., and Singh, S. (2010). A new approach to exploring language emergence as boundedly optimal control in the face of environmental and cognitive constraints. In Salvucci, D. and Gunzelmann, G., editors, Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling. To appear. [ ]
Lewis, R. L. (2000). Specifying architectures for language processing: Process, control, and memory in parsing and interpretation. In Crocker, M. W., Pickering, M., and Clifton, Jr., C., editors, Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. [ ]
These references were generated by bibtex2html 1.93.
other relevant publications
Shvartsman, M., Lewis, R. L., and Singh, S. (2014). Computationally rational saccadic control: An explanation of spillover effects based on sampling from noisy perception and memory. In Demberg, V. and O'Donnell, T. J., editors, Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL 2014), Baltimore, MD. Association for Computational Linguistics. [ ]
Bartek, B., Lewis, R. L., Vasishth, S., and Smith, M. R. (2011). In search of on-line locality effects in sentence comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37(5):1178-1198. [ ]
Obata, M., Lewis, R. L., Epstein, S., Bartek, B., and Boland, J. (2010). Featural analysis and short-term memory retrieval in on-line parsing: Evidence for syntactic, but not phonological, similarity-based interference. In Proceedings of NELS 41: Conference of the North East Linguistics Society, Philadelphia. [ ]
Vasishth, S., Suckow, K., Lewis, R. L., and Kern, S. (2010). Short-term forgetting in sentence comprehension: Crosslinguistic evidence from verb-final structures. Language and Cognitive Processes. In press. [ ]
Lustig, C. A., Lewis, R. L., Berman, M. G., Nee, D. E., Moore, K. S., and Jonides, J. (2009). Psychological and neural mechanisms of short-term memory. In Berntson, G. and Cacioppo, J. T., editors, Handbook of Neuroscience for the Behavioral Sciences. John Wiley, Hoboken, NJ. [ ]
Nakayama, M., Vasishth, S., and Lewis, R. L. (2006). Difficulty of certain sentence constructions in comprehension. In Handbook of East Asian Psycholinguistics, volume 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. [ ]
Nakayama, M., Lee, S.-H., and Lewis, R. L. (2005). Difficulty of processing Japanese and Korean center-embedding constructions. In Minami, M., Kobayashi, H., Nakayama, M., and Sirai, H., editors, Studies in Language Sciences, volume 4, pages 99-118. Kurosio Publishers, Tokyo. [ ]
Vannest, J., Polk, T. A., and Lewis, R. L. (2005). Dual-route processing of complex words: new fMRI evidence from derivational suffixation. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 5:67-76. [ ]
Van Dyke, J. A. and Lewis, R. L. (2003). Distinguishing effects of structure and decay on attachment and repair: A cue-based parsing account of recovery from misanalyzed ambiguities. Journal of Memory and Language, 49:285-316. [ ]
Lewis, R. L. and Nakayama, M. (2002). Syntactic and positional similarity effects in the processing of japanese embeddings. In Nakayama, M., editor, Sentence Processing in East Asian Languages. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA. [ ]
Young, R. and Lewis, R. (1999). The Soar cognitive architecture and human working memory. In Miyake, A. and Shah, P., editors, Models of Working Memory: Mechanisms of Active Maintenance and Executive Control. Cambridge University Press, New York. [ ]
Lehman, J. F., Newell, A., and Lewis, R. L. (1998). Architectural influences on language comprehension. In Pylyshyn, Z. W., editor, Constraining Cognitive Theorie: Issues and Options. Ablex Press, Norwood, NJ.
Lewis, R. L. (1998). Leaping off the garden path: Reanalysis and limited repair parsing. In Fodor, J. and Ferreira, F., editors, Reanalysis in Sentence Processing, pages 247-285. Kluwer Academic, Boston. [ ]
Lehman, J. F., Lewis, R. L., and Newell, A. (1991). Integrating knowledge sources in language comprehension. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, pages 46-66. Also in P. S. Rosenbloom, J. E. Laird, and A. Newell, eds., The Soar Papers: Research on Integrated Intelligence, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1993. [ ]
Lewis, R. L., Newell, A., and Polk, T. A. (1989). Toward a Soar theory of taking instructions for immediate reasoning tasks. In Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, pages 514-521. Also in P. S. Rosenbloom, J. E. Laird, and A. Newell, eds., The Soar Papers: Research on Integrated Intelligence, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1993. [ ]
These references were generated by bibtex2html 1.93.