This website collects the results of a research project focused on the perception of grammaticality both from a categorical and a discrete perspective.
In this project we analyze the linguistic performance of adults and children (hearing and deaf) as well as Primary Progressive Aphasic patients to demonstrate how categorical discrimination is crucial for a precise linguistic competence assessment and how this perspective can be reconciled with the observed gradience in various domains.
Here we will also compare formal models' predictions (Chesi 2023, Lewis & Vasishth 2005) with surprisal metrics (Hale 2016) based on Large Language Modeling (e.g. Warstadt et al 2018-2020).
Our preliminary assumptions are the following ones:
  1. Gradedness emerges from the interaction of two or more independent categorical factors, especially at the interface of the structure building component with phonology (e.g. Zubizarreta 1998), and with semantics/pragmatics (e.g. Bianchi & Chesi 2014).
  2. In atypical populations, the non-categorical manifestation of an inherently discrete factor may be due to the temporary inability to compute all the elements of a linguistic structure, resulting in an impoverished representation (e.g. Grillo 2008).
  1. Beltrame & Chesi (2023) Why-questions and focus in Italian.
    The Linguistic Review. 38(4): 687-726 - DOI: 10.1515/tlr-2021-2079
  2. Bianchi, Bocci, & Cruschina (2015) Focus fronting and its implicatures.
    In Aboh, Schaeffer and Sleeman (eds.) Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2013: Selected papers from 'Going Romance' Amsterdam 2013
  3. Bianchi, Bocci & Cruschina (2016) Focus fronting, unexpectedness, and evaluative implicatures. Sem. & Prag. 9
  4. Bianchi Valentina, Chesi Cristiano (2014)Subject islands, reconstruction, and the flow of the computation.
    Linguistic Inquiry Vol. 45.4 , pp. 525-569
  5. Bocci (2013) The Syntax–Prosody Interface: A cartographic perspective with evidence from Italian. John Benjamins
  6. Chesi, Ghersi, Musella & Musola (2022) Test di Comprensione delle Opposizioni morfo-sintattiche VERbali attraverso la ScritturA COnVERSA. Hogrefe
  7. Chesi (2023) Parameters of Cross-linguistic Variation in Expectation-based Minimalist Grammars (e-MGs).
    Italian Journal of Computational Linguistics. 9(1): 1-50 - DOI: 10.4000/ijcol.1135
  8. Hale (2016) Information-theoretical Complexity Metrics.
    Language & Linguistics Compass 10(9): 687-726 - DOI: 10.1515/tlr-2021-2079 10.1111/lnc3.12196
  9. Levy (2008) Expectation-based syntactic comprehension. Cognition
    Cognition 106(3):1126-1177 - DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.05.006
  10. Lewis & Vasishth (2005) An activation-based model of sentence processing as skilled memory retrieval. Cognition 106(3):1126-1177 - DOI: 10.1207/s15516709cog0000_25
  11. Warstadt, Parrish, Liu, Mohananey, Peng, Wang, Bowman (2020) BLiMP: The Benchmark of Linguistic Minimal Pairs for English.Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 8
  12. Warstadt, Singh & Bowman (2018) Neural Network Acceptability Judgments. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 7