ERIC Number: EJ698004
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Beyond Salience: Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns
Brown-Schmidt, S.; Byron, D.K.; Tanenhaus, M.K.
Journal of Memory and Language, v53 n2 p292-313 Aug 2005
Three experiments examined the hypothesis that it preferentially refers to the most salient entity in a discourse, whereas that preferentially refers to a conceptual composite. In Experiment 1, eye movements were monitored as participants followed spoken instructions such as, Put the cup on the saucer. Now put it/that.... The preferred referent was the theme (cup) for it and the composite for that (cup on the saucer) with the goal (saucer) rarely chosen. Experiment 2 demonstrated that stressing it reduces the number of theme interpretations. Experiment 3 replicated the main findings from Experiment 1, regardless of whether or not the theme was the backward-looking center. The authors conclude that entities without linguistic antecedents are sometimes preferred over entities with linguistic antecedents and a single construct such as salience is insufficient to account for differences among referential forms. Candidate reference-specific constructs include the availability of conceptual composites and syntactic role.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A