Until recently, much research in language comprehension operated under the assumption that comprehenders initially identified the syntactic structure of sentences they were hearing or reading without regard to the meanings of the words in the sentences. A significant amount of recent work has challenged that position, however, and there is now abundant evidence that lexical information plays a central role in sentence processing. The papers in this special issue reflect the increased status on lexical representations in sentence processing research. The authors approach the question of the precise role of lexical information in sentence comprehension from a variety of theoretical perspectives. They supplement experimental psycholinguistic research with work in neighboring fields, including concepts and categorization, theoretical linguistics, and computational modeling. The volume should be of interest to psycholinguistics, cognitive scientists, linguistics and computer scientists.
Lexical representations and sentence processing - an introduction, M.C. MacDonald; thematic roles as verb-specific concepts, K. McRae et al; modelling parsing constraints with high-dimensional context space, C. Burgess and K. Lund; parsing in a dynamical system - an attractor-based account of the interaction of lexical and structural constraints in sentence processing, W. Tabor et al; parsing of garden-path sentences with reciprocal verbs, F. Ferreira and K. McClure; the role of lexical heads in parsing - evidence from Germany, L. Konieczny et al; lexical structure and parsing complexity, S. Stevenson and P. Merlo.