The interaction of perceptual processes and ambiguous sentences

T. G. Bever, M. F. Garrett, R. Hurtig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


General principles of speech perception resolve several experimental conflicts about whether listeners interpret one or all meanings of an ambiguous sentence We argue that during all ambiguous clause, both meanings are processed, but immediately after the clause over, it recoded with only one meaning retained This model resolves the apparently conflicting results of previous experimental, it also predicts that underlying structure ambiguity m incomplete clauses increases Comprehension time In complete clauses, ambiguity does not increase relative comprehension time; it may reduce comprehension time for ambiguities whose interpretations are perceptually distinct in those tasks where either meaning is appropriate Two new experiments offer preliminary confirmation of these predictions

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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