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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3CB0Q

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The Processing of Lexical Sequences Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
probabilistic models
subjective frequency
cloze
n-grams
reading
lexical sequences
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Shaoul, Cyrus
Supervisor and department
Westbury, Chris (Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Dixon, Peter (Psychology)
Baayen, Harald (Linguistics)
Levy, Roger (Linguistics, University of California, San Diego)
Gagne, Christina (Psychology)
Brown, Norman (Psychology)
Department
Department of Psychology
Specialization

Date accepted
2012-04-02T10:25:43Z
Graduation date
2012-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Psycholinguistics has traditionally been defined as the study of how we process units of language such as letters, words and sentences. But what about other units? This dissertation concerns itself with short lexical sequences called n- grams, longer than words but shorter than most sentences. N-grams can be phrases (such as the 3-gram "the great divide") or just fragments (such as the 4- gram means "nothing to a"). Words are often thought to be the universal, atomic building block of longer lexical sequences, but n-grams are equally capable of carrying meaning and being combined to create any sentence. Are n-grams more than just the sum of their parts (the sum of their words)? How do language users process n-grams when they are asked to read them or produce them? Using evidence that I have gathered, I will address these and other questions with the goal of better understanding n-gram processing.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3CB0Q
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Shaoul, C., & Westbury, C. (2011). Formulaic sequences: Do they exist and do they matter? Methodological and Analytic Frontiers in Lexical Research (Part II). Special Issue of The Mental Lexicon, 6 (1), 171-196.

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