High Vs Low: Turkish Parser’s Attachment Preferences to Relative Clauses


  • Cengiz TURAN Adana Alparslan Türkeş Science and Technology University, School of Foreign Languages, 01250 Sarıçam/Adana, Turkey, email: cturan@atu.edu.tr




Attachment preferences, relative clauses, high and low attachment, garden-path, cognitive load


The present study investigates parsing preferences to Turkish relative clauses (RC) using eye-tracker method and comprehension questions presented to the participants following each experimental sentences. In this framework, the possible effects of the RC on attachment types (low – high) were analyzed. The data gathered from a total of sixty participants were considered. Twenty-eight experimental sentences were developed based on RC and two attachment types thus, testing four conditions along with twenty-eight filler sentences. General direction of processing is that the high attachment (HA) configuration caused slightly less cognitive load than the low attachment (LA). Nevertheless, reading times belonging to HA sentences statistically longer on NP2 (the second noun phrase following the RC area). Longer fixation durations on main verbs were observed with significant differences in LA sentences. Regarding the answers to the comprehension questions, the data complement the findings from online processing. It  can be stated that Turkish parser prioritizes syntactic operations during the early processing. However, lexical-semantic information of the main verb  overrides these operations in the event of a structural ambiguity. Processing of HA sentences is more rapid than the LA sentences. Overall, Turkish is suggested to be a HA language.


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How to Cite

TURAN, C. (2020). High Vs Low: Turkish Parser’s Attachment Preferences to Relative Clauses. ISPEC International Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 4(3), 241-270. https://doi.org/10.46291/ISPECIJSSHvol4iss3pp241-270