A good-enough representation is not good enough

Loes Koring*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    It has been proposed that language processing invokes extra-grammatical heuristics in addition to, or instead of the computational system (e.g., Townsend & Bever, 2001; Karimi & Ferreira, 2016). The outputs of these extra-grammatical heuristics are called “good-enough” representations. These representations lack (syntactic) detail and are incomplete (Karimi & Ferreira, 2016). This paper evaluates this claim by investigating one extra-grammatical processing heuristic in particular: the NV(N)-strategy. Two experiments prove that (i) interpretations that would result from application of the NV(N)-strategy are sometimes difficult to generate and (ii) listeners compute (syntactic) representations for sentences that are more detailed than the NV(N)-strategy would predict. This gives rise to the question whether “good-enough” representations are computed at all.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTypical and impaired processing in morphosyntax
    EditorsVincent Torrens
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam ; Philadelphia
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027260666
    ISBN (Print)9789027207630
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameLanguage acquisition and language disorders
    ISSN (Print)0925-0123


    • extra-grammatical processing heuristics
    • good-enough representations
    • parsing
    • unaccusativity


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