Разрешение глобальной синтаксической неоднозначности двуязычными испытуемыми в условиях психолингвистического эксперимента

Translated title of the contribution: Global syntactic disambiguation in bilingual subjects during psycholinguistic experiment

Mikhail S. Vlasov, Alexander N. Savostyanov, Alexander E. Saprygin, Tatyana N. Astakhova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The article provides a brief overview of the syntactic disambiguation problems in Russian and English languages as well as psycholinguistic experiment. The last one examined behavioral responses of 17 bilinguals (Russian and American-English speakers) on syntactic ambiguity recognition and disambiguation in Russian (native/foreign) and English (foreign) sentences. The experimental design was followed out of the survey by Olga V. Fedorova. The closest experimental study was presented in the PhD thesis of Olga V. Dragoy on the material of the Russian language. In the present study we used the same experimental material with the following changes: 1) reducing the influence of the conceptual genus factor on choosing the type of closure (early, middle and late closure): in test sentences all nouns (N1, N2, N3) related to the same genus and were either animate or inanimate; 2) reducing the animate/inanimate factor of nouns on the disambiguation process; 3) the structure of some Russian sentences was transformed closer to the structure of their English analogs (in translation). The test stimuli were complex sentences with relative clause attachment ambiguity in a three-site context, e.g.: a) Na zasedanii byla predstavlena kontseptsiya [N1] stat'i [N2] konstitutsii [N3], kotoraya vse eshche trebovala dorabotki; b) The session presented the conception [N1] of constitution [N2] article [N3] which required improvement. The fillers were unambiguous complex sentences with relative clauses. 15 test sentences and 30 fillers were used in two studies. Russian speakers read both the Russian (n=7) and English (n=6) sentences. English speakers (n=4) read Russian sentences only. In task 1 the subjects were asked to read all sentences silently and then aloud. In task 2 after silent reading they were asked to answer the questions on reading comprehension, e.g.: Gazeta napechatala obzory proektov shkol, kotorye stali izvestny vsemu gorodu (Vsemu gorodu stali izvestny: a) shkoly, b) proekty, v) obzory). The newspaper published the reviews of projects of schools which have come to notice in the city (What have come to notice in the city: a) schools, b) projects, c) reviews? The comparison of behavioral responses revealed significant differences in the rate of reaction on unambiguous and ambiguous sentences. Syntactic disambiguation slows down the reaction rate and increases its dispersion in all the test groups when performing all types of tasks. It is necessary to note that English speakers needed the greatest time to solve the Russian language task and the least time was typical for Russian speakers in the Russian language task. It was largely related to the level of subjects' proficiency in a foreign language.

Translated title of the contributionGlobal syntactic disambiguation in bilingual subjects during psycholinguistic experiment
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalVestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, Filologiya
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Disambiguation
  • English language
  • Psycholinguistic experiment
  • Russian language
  • Syntactic ambiguity

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