Paper: Interpreting tractable versus intractable reciprocal sentences

ACL ID W11-0109
Title Interpreting tractable versus intractable reciprocal sentences
Venue IWCS
Session Main Conference
Year 2011

In three experiments, we investigated the computational complexity of German reciprocal sen- tences with different quantificational antecedents. Building upon the tractable cognition thesis (van Rooij, 2008) and its application to the verification of quantifiers (Szymanik, 2010) we predicted complexity differences among these sentences. Reciprocals with all-antecedents are expected to preferably receive a strong interpretation (Dalrymple et al., 1998), but reciprocals with proportional or numerical quantifier antecedents should be interpreted weakly. Experiment 1, where participants completed pictures according to their preferred interpretation, provides evidence for these predic- tions. Experiment 2 was a picture verification task. The results show that the strong interpretation was in fa...