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ERIC Number: ED012889
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-Jan-5
Pages: 165
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
COMMUNICATION OF PRONOMINAL REFERENTS IN AMBIGUOUS ENGLISH SENTENCES FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS.
CHAI, DAVID T.
THIS RESEARCH STUDY WAS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE TECHNIQUE OF PSYCHOLINGUISTIC EXPERIMENTATION, AS WELL AS FORMAL ANALYSIS, CAN BE APPLIED TO DISCOVER SOME VARIABLES WHICH ALLOW THE HUMAN TO RESOLVE AMBIGUOUS SENTENCES. THE PROBLEM OF AMBIGUITY WAS CONFINED TO SITUATIONS IN WHICH A KEY PRONOUN IN A SENTENCE HAS MORE THAN ONE POSSIBLE ANTECEDENT. THE OBJECTIVE WAS TO DISCOVER SOME PARAMETERS THAT CONTROL THE ABILITY TO RESOLVE AMBIGUOUS PRONOMINAL REFERENCE IN DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS. THE EXPERIMENT INVOLVED A SET OF 176 SENTENCES, EACH OF WHICH CONTAINED PRONOUNS WITH AMBIGUOUS ANTECEDENTS. THE EXPERIMENTAL SUBJECTS--FIFTH, SEVENTH, AND EIGHTH GRADE CHILDREN, AND COLLEGE SOPHOMORES--JUDGED THE MOST APPROPRIATE REFERENT IN EACH SENTENCE. RESULTS FROM THE SOPHOMORE GROUP CONCLUSIVELY DEMONSTRATED THAT SUBJECTS COULD RESOLVE AN AMBIGUITY IN A SENTENCE BY REDUCING THE MEANING OF A KEY WORD FROM TWO TO ONE. EIGHTH GRADE SUBJECTS DEMONSTRATED THEY COULD LARGELY RESOLVE THE PRONOMINAL REFERENT WHEN REAL VERBS WERE USED (AS OPPOSED TO NONSENSE VERBS). RESULTS FROM THE SEVENTH GRADE SUBJECTS SHOWED A FURTHER DEGENERATION WITH RESPECT TO THE RESPONSES OF THE EIGHTH GRADERS. IN GENERAL THE FIFTH GRADE SUBJECTS WERE NOT ABLE TO RESOLVE THE PRONOMINAL AMBIGUITIES. THIS REPORT INCLUDES AN EXTENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE TEST SENTENCES, RESPONSE MATRICES, AND AN "IDEAL GROUP" CHART. (AM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Center for Human Growth and Development.
Identifiers: N/A