Document Type



Master of Arts


Department of English

First Advisor's Name

Ellen Thompson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major professor

Second Advisor's Name

Phillip M. Carter

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Tometro Hopkins

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Date of Defense



A topic in linguistics that requires more psycholinguistic research is that of aspect. In particular, we are interested in how speakers process aspectual structures in terms of telicity and atelicity. For this project, we examine monolingual English speakers and their processing times linked to aspectual interpretation of telic vs. atelic constructions. Our methodology utilizes Response Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) (Rayner & Sereno, 1994; Garrod, 2006), which presents readers with sequences on a computer screen, and measures their reading times. The subjects are instructed to complete an additional task, such as a comprehension task. We investigate the distinctions in processing time between telic and atelic predicates and relate this data to recent theoretical proposals concerning the structure of telicity.



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