Grammatical Bracketing Determines Learning of Non-adjacent Dependencies


Grammatical dependencies often involve elements that are not adjacent. However, most experiments in which non-adjacent dependencies are learned bracketed the dependent material with pauses, which is not how dependencies appear in natural language. Here we report successful learning of embedded NAD without pause bracketing. Instead, we induce learners to compute structure in an artificial language by entraining them through processing English sentences. We also found that learning becomes difficult when grammatical entrainment causes learners to compute boundaries that are misaligned with NAD structures. In sum, we demonstrated that grammatical entrainment can induce boundaries that can carry over to reveal structures in novel language materials, and this effect can be used to induce learning of non-adjacent dependencies.

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