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ERIC Number: EJ928669
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0749-596X
Children's Processing of Reflexives and Pronouns in English: Evidence from Eye-Movements during Listening
Clackson, Kaili; Felser, Claudia; Clahsen, Harald
Journal of Memory and Language, v65 n2 p128-144 Aug 2011
This study examined how 6-9 year-old English-speaking children and adults establish anaphoric dependencies during auditory sentence comprehension. Using eye-movement monitoring during listening and a corresponding sentence-picture judgment task, we investigated both the ultimate interpretation and the online processing of reflexives in comparison to non-reflexive pronouns, focusing on how binding constraints interact with a competitor antecedent's relative (discourse) prominence. Whilst our offline results show that the children's ultimate interpretation for reflexives was constrained by binding principles in the same way as adults', the eye-movement data revealed that during processing, children were temporarily more distracted than adults when multiple cues supported a prominent competitor antecedent. These results indicate that in addition to binding principles, children's online referential decisions are also affected by discourse-level information. We suggest that the observed child/adult differences stem from children's greater difficulty, compared to adults, in controlling multiple sources of information during sentence comprehension. (Contains 5 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A