We are studying a number of different methodologies to study how adults and children process written and spoken sentences. Recently, we have been using a mobile eye-tracker to investigate how adults and children use and integrate syntactic, morphological, lexical, and acoustic (phonetic) cues when they process spoken sentences. The eye-movements of our subjects indicate that adults (but not children) can correctly 'guess' the meaning of a (temporarily) ambiguous sentence before the sentence becomes disambiguated morphosyntactically. We argue that this suggests that adults, but not children, can effectively use subtle acoustic cues in on-line language processing.
Sekerina, I, Stromswold, K., Hestvik, A., Sudhakar, M. 2001. How do adults and children process referentially ambiguous pronouns? CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. Philadelphia, PA. March 2001.
Stromswold, K, Eisenband, J., Norland, E., Ratzan, J. 2002. Tracking the Acquisition and Processing of English Passives: Using Acoustic Cues to Disambiguate Actives and Passives. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, March 21-23, 2002.
Stromswold, K, Eisenband, J., Norland, E., Ratzan, J. 2002. Why do children have difficulty with English passives? International Association for the Study of Child Language, Madison WI. July 19, 2002.