Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs

Juzek TS, Häussler J (2020)
Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 39(2): 109-147.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
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Autor*in
Juzek, Tom S.; Häussler, JanaUniBi
Abstract / Bemerkung
Most acceptability judgments reported in the syntactic literature are obtained by linguists being their own informants. For well-represented languages like English, this method of data collection is best described as a process of community agreement, given that linguists typically discuss their judgments with colleagues. However, the process itself is comparably opaque, and the reliability of its output has been questioned. Recent studies looking into this criticism have shown that judgments reported in the literature for English can be replicated in quantitative experiments to a near-perfect degree. However, the focus of those studies has been on testing sentence pairs. We argue that replication of only contrasts is not sufficient, because theory building necessarily includes comparison across pairs and across papers. Thus, we test items at large, i. e. independent of counterparts. We created a corpus of grammaticality judgments on sequences of American English reported in articles published in Linguistic Inquiry and then collected experimental ratings for a random subset of them. Overall, expert ratings and experimental ratings converge to a good degree, but there are numerous instances in which ratings do not converge. Based on this, we argue that for theory-critical data, the process of community agreement should be accompanied by quantitative methods whenever possible.
Stichworte
experimental syntax; data convergence; grammaticality judgments; acceptability judgments tasks; introspection
Erscheinungsjahr
2020
Zeitschriftentitel
Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft
Band
39
Ausgabe
2
Seite(n)
109-147
ISSN
0721-9067
eISSN
1613-3706
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2948932

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Juzek TS, Häussler J. Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft. 2020;39(2):109-147.
Juzek, T. S., & Häussler, J. (2020). Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 39(2), 109-147. doi:10.1515/zfs-2020-2008
Juzek, T. S., and Häussler, J. (2020). Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 39, 109-147.
Juzek, T.S., & Häussler, J., 2020. Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 39(2), p 109-147.
T.S. Juzek and J. Häussler, “Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs”, Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, vol. 39, 2020, pp. 109-147.
Juzek, T.S., Häussler, J.: Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft. 39, 109-147 (2020).
Juzek, Tom S., and Häussler, Jana. “Data convergence in syntactic theory and the role of sentence pairs”. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 39.2 (2020): 109-147.

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