Memory Resource Allocation in Top-Down Minimalist Parsing

  • Gregory M. Kobele
  • Sabrina Gerth
  • John Hale
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8036)


This paper provides a linking theory between the minimalist grammar formalism and off-line behavioural data. We examine the transient stack states of a top-down parser for Minimalist Grammars as it analyzes embedded sentences in English, Dutch and German. We find that the number of time steps that a derivation tree node persist on the parser’s stack derives the observed contrasts in English center embedding, and the difference between German and Dutch embedding. This particular stack occupancy measure formalizes the leading idea of “memory burden” in a way that links predictive, incremental parsing to specific syntactic analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory M. Kobele
    • 1
  • Sabrina Gerth
    • 2
  • John Hale
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Universität PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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