Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Ellen Thompson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Phillip M. Carter

Third Advisor's Name

Tometro Hopkins


preposition-stranding, p-stranding, minimal structure principle, pied-piping, prepositions, language processing, self paced reading task

Date of Defense



One of the prominent questions in modern psycholinguistics is the relationship between the grammar and the parser. Within the approach of Generative Grammar, this issue has been investigated in terms of the role that Principles of Universal Grammar may play in language processing. The aim of this research experiment is to investigate this topic. Specifically, this experiment aims to test whether the Minimal Structure Principle (MSP) plays a role in the processing of Preposition-Stranding versus Pied-Piped Constructions. This investigation is made with a self-paced reading task, an on-line processing test that measures participants’ unconscious reaction to language stimuli. Monolingual English speakers’ reading times of sentences with Preposition-Stranding and Pied-Piped Constructions are compared. Results indicate that neither construction has greater processing costs, suggesting that factors other than the MSP are active during language processing.



Included in

Linguistics Commons



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