Definitely Islands? Experimental investigation of definite islands

Anissa Neal, Brian Dillon


Experimental work on islands has used formal acceptability judgment studies to quantify the severity of different island violations. This current study uses this approach to probe the (in-)violability of definite islands, an understudied island, in offline and online measures. We conducted two acceptability judgment studies and find a modest island effect. However, rating distributions appear bimodal across definites and indefinites. We also conducted a self-paced reading experiment, but found no sig- nificant effects. Overall, offline, definite islands differ from other uniform islands, but online, the results are more complicated.


syntactic islands; definiteness

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Copyright (c) 2021 Anissa Neal, Brian Dillon

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