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ERIC Number: EJ1155780
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
The Impact of Focus on Pronoun Resolution in Native and Non-Native Sentence Comprehension
Patterson, Clare; Esaulova, Yulia; Felser, Claudia
Second Language Research, v33 n4 p403-429 Oct 2017
Non-native speakers' sensitivity to discourse-level cues in pronoun interpretation has not been widely researched. We carried out three antecedent-choice questionnaire experiments which investigate the impact of focus on within-sentence pronoun resolution in native and non-native speakers of German and native speakers of Russian. Focus was realized via cleft structures and focus-sensitive particles (FSPs). Findings show a clear difference between native and non-native speakers that is not attributable to first language (L1) influence. Native speakers of German and Russian were less likely to resolve the pronoun to an antecedent in focus via a cleft compared to a non-focused antecedent in the same position (the "anti-focus effect"). Unlike the native speakers, non-native speakers did not show an anti-focus effect with clefts but showed a tendency to resolve a pronoun to an antecedent appearing with an FSP. We argue that non-native speakers do not always complete a detailed analysis of the information structural cues when seeking an antecedent and may instead be influenced by surface-level cues that highlight certain antecedents.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A