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Referential context effects in non-native relative clause ambiguity resolution

  • We report the results from two experiments investigating how referential context information affects native and non-native readers’ interpretation of ambiguous relative clauses in sentences such as The journalist interviewed the assistant of the inspector who was looking very serious. The preceding discourse context was manipulated such that it provided two potential referents for either the first (the assistant) or the second (the inspector) of the two noun phrases that could potentially host the relative clause, thus biasing towards either an NP1 or an NP2 modification reading. The results from an offline comprehension task indicate that both native English speakers’ and German and Chinese-speaking ESL learners’ ultimate interpretation preferences were reliably influenced by the type of referential context. In contrast, in a corresponding self-paced-reading task we found that referential context information modulated only the non-native participants’ disambiguation preferences but not the native speakers’. Our results corroborateWe report the results from two experiments investigating how referential context information affects native and non-native readers’ interpretation of ambiguous relative clauses in sentences such as The journalist interviewed the assistant of the inspector who was looking very serious. The preceding discourse context was manipulated such that it provided two potential referents for either the first (the assistant) or the second (the inspector) of the two noun phrases that could potentially host the relative clause, thus biasing towards either an NP1 or an NP2 modification reading. The results from an offline comprehension task indicate that both native English speakers’ and German and Chinese-speaking ESL learners’ ultimate interpretation preferences were reliably influenced by the type of referential context. In contrast, in a corresponding self-paced-reading task we found that referential context information modulated only the non-native participants’ disambiguation preferences but not the native speakers’. Our results corroborate and extend previous findings suggesting that non-native comprehenders’ initial analysis of structurally ambiguous input is strongly influenced by biasing discourse information.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Hui-Yu Pan, Sarah Schimke, Claudia FelserORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-404785
Parent Title (English):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (398)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/04/23
Year of Completion:2015
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/04/23
Tag:ambiguity resolution; referential context; relative clause; second language; self-paced reading; sentence processing
Issue:398
Pagenumber:16
Source:International Journal of Bilingualism 19 (2015) 3, S. 298–313 DOI: 10.1177/1367006913515769
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Sage
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle