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ERIC Number: EJ847610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Structural and Semantic Constraints on the Resolution of Pronouns and Reflexives
Kaiser, Elsi; Runner, Jeffrey T.; Sussman, Rachel S.; Tanenhaus, Michael K.
Cognition, v112 n1 p55-80 Jul 2009
We present four experiments on the interpretation of pronouns and reflexives in picture noun phrases with and without possessors (e.g. "Andrew's picture of him/himself, the picture of him/himself"). The experiments (two off-line studies and two visual-world eye-tracking experiments) investigate how syntactic and semantic factors guide the interpretation of pronouns and reflexives and how different kinds of information are integrated during real-time reference resolution. The results show that the interpretation of pronouns and reflexives in picture NP constructions is sensitive not only to purely structural information, as is commonly assumed in syntactically-oriented theories of anaphor resolution, but also to semantic information (see Kuno, S. (1987). "Functional syntax: Anaphora, discourse and empathy". Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Tenny, C. (2003). "Short distance pronouns in representational noun phrases and a grammar of sentience". Ms.). Moreover, the results show that pronouns and reflexives differ in the degree of sensitivity they exhibit to different kinds of information. This finding indicates that the form-specific multiple-constraints approach (see Brown-Schmidt, S., Byron, D. K., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2005). Beyond salience: Interpretation of personal and demonstrative pronouns. "Journal of Memory and Language", 53, 292-313; Kaiser, E. (2003). "The quest for a referent: A crosslinguistic look at reference resolution". Ph.D. dissertation. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Kaiser, E. (2005). When salience is not enough: Pronouns, demonstratives and the quest for an antecedent. In: Laury, R. (Ed.), "Minimal reference in Finnic: The use and interpretation of pronouns and zero in Finnish and Estonian discourse" (pp. 135-162). Helsinki, Finland: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura; Kaiser, E., & Trueswell, J. (2008). Interpreting pronouns and demonstratives in Finnish: Evidence for a form-specific approach to reference resolution. "Language and Cognitive Processes", 23(5), 709-748), which states that referential forms can exhibit asymmetrical sensitivities to the different constraints guiding reference resolution, also applies in the within-sentence domain. (Contains 11 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A