Language Down the Garden Path


Language Down the Garden Path

The Cognitive and Biological Basis of Linguistic Structures

 Montserrat Sanz & Itziar Laka & Michael K. Tanenhaus 2013

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Price: 2.000 Toman

Download: Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Basis of Linguistic Structures (Sanz & Laka & Tanenhaus 2013).

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Thomas G. Bever’s now iconic sentence, The horse raced past the barn fell, first appeared in his 1970 paper “The Cognitive Basis of Linguistic Structures”. This ‘garden path sentence’, so-called because of the way it leads the reader or listener down the wrong parsing path, helped spawn the entire subfield of sentence processing. It has become the most often quoted element of a paper which spanned a wealth of research into the relationship between the grammatical system and language processing.

Language Down the Garden Path traces the lines of research that grew out of Bever’s classic paper. Leading scientists review over 40 years of debates on the factors at play in language comprehension, production, and acquisition (the role of prediction, grammar, working memory, prosody, abstractness, syntax and semantics mapping); the current status of universals and narrow syntax; and virtually every topic relevant in psycholinguistics since 1970. Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book will appeal to all those interested in understanding the questions that shaped, and are still shaping, this field and the ways in which linguists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and neuroscientists are seeking to answer them.


“This is an exceptional book, animated by its exploration of ideas in T.G. Bever’s foundational paper ‘The Cognitive Basis of Linguistic Structures’. It’s a grand design that stirs the echoes of four decades of intense debate in the sciences of language. The contributors are highly accomplished scientists, and we are thus treated to an authoritative as well as a lively and stimulating range of views on ways in which human cognition shapes and is shaped by our linguistic capacity.”

–Merrill Garrett, University of Arizona

About the Author

Montserrat Sanz Yague received her PhD in Linguistics and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. She is currently Professor in the Department of Spanish at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (Japan). She leads a research team that explores the process of acquisition of Spanish by native speakers of Japanese. Her previous research on the syntax/semantics interface under Minimalist premises culminated in the book Events and Predication: A New Approach to Syntactic Processing in English and Spanish (John Benjamins, 2000). Recently she has published a book with Jose Manuel Igoa entitled Applying Language Science to Language Pedagogy: Contributions of Linguistics and Psycholinguistics to Language Teaching (Cambridge Scholars Publishing).Itziar Laka received her PhD in Linguistics at MIT. She is Professor at the University of the Basque Country and Director of The Bilingual Mind research group. She is the author of Negation in Syntax (Garland, 1994), and A Brief Grammar of Euskara (1996). Her current research combines linguistics and psycholinguistics to explore the neural representation of linguistic structure in bilinguals.

Michael K. Tanenhaus received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1978. He taught at Wayne State University until 1983 when he moved to the University of Rochester. His research spans a wide range of topics in psycholinguistics, with a primary focus on real-time spoken language processing. In 2011, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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