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Speakers' errors in the use of the 'count form' in Bulgarian numeral phrases : possible sources of the distance effect
Penka Stateva, Julie Franck, Arthur Stepanov, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: In Bulgarian, numerals such as pet ('five') assign a special 'count form' feature to the noun: this assignment takes place across any number of intervening modifier phrases, thus forming a long-distance syntactic dependency. In colloquial speech, speakers often erroneously substitute the count form for regular plurals. Previous corpus and psycholinguistic research established that the ratio of such errors correlates with the distance between numeral and the noun in terms of the number of intervening items. In this note we briefly review this line of inquiry and outline two possible explanations for the distance effect: (i) the cost of maintaining and/or retrieving the numeral in the working memory, and (ii) cumulative activation of the plural markings on the intervening adjectivals.
Keywords: numeral, syntactic dependency, language processing, working memory, activation, Bulgarian
Published in RUNG: 12.02.2024; Views: 452; Downloads: 3
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