The processing of asymmetric and symmetric sentential conjunction Conference

Thompson, E, Collado, J, Omana, M et al. (2011). The processing of asymmetric and symmetric sentential conjunction . 131-134.

cited authors

  • Thompson, E; Collado, J; Omana, M; Yousuf-Little, A



  • In this study, we examine the predictions for processing of a syntactically articulated theory of the distinction among different interpretations of clausal 'and'. Bjorkman (2010) claims that symmetric 'and' interpretations involve coordination of CPs; these are logical interpretations. Asymmetric interpretations of 'and' involve conjunction of TPs; these are temporal and causal. If the processor is guided by structural considerations, we predict a possible two-way split in the processing costs of these structures. Therefore, this research examines the processing time involved in sentences interpreted as: (i) temporal, (ii) causal, and (iii) logical, versus the distinctions of (i) asymmetric (TP structure), and (ii) symmetric (CP structure). We find that structures involving symmetric 'and' involve longer processing times than those of asymmetric, causal 'and', and although the processing times of structures with logical 'and' are longer than those with temporal 'and', this distinction does not approach statistical significance.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011

start page

  • 131

end page

  • 134