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Effects of Aging on Interference During Pronoun Resolution

  • Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of healthy aging on the ability to suppress grammatically illicit antecedents during pronoun resolution. Method: In 2 reading-based acceptability-judgment experiments, younger and older speakers of German read sentences containing an object pronoun and 2 potential antecedent noun phrases, only 1 of which was a grammatically licit antecedent. Using a gender-mismatch paradigm, we compared to what extent younger and older speakers were sensitive to feature (mis)matches between the pronoun and either of the 2 antecedents. All participants were fluent readers of German and had finished at least secondary education. Results: Experiment 1 used a self-paced reading paradigm. Older speakers showed greater sensitivity than younger ones to mismatching licit antecedents, but no group showed any evidence of interference from an intervening competitor antecedent. In Experiment 2, we increased the processing demand by using paced word-by-word stimulus presentation and longer sentences.Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of healthy aging on the ability to suppress grammatically illicit antecedents during pronoun resolution. Method: In 2 reading-based acceptability-judgment experiments, younger and older speakers of German read sentences containing an object pronoun and 2 potential antecedent noun phrases, only 1 of which was a grammatically licit antecedent. Using a gender-mismatch paradigm, we compared to what extent younger and older speakers were sensitive to feature (mis)matches between the pronoun and either of the 2 antecedents. All participants were fluent readers of German and had finished at least secondary education. Results: Experiment 1 used a self-paced reading paradigm. Older speakers showed greater sensitivity than younger ones to mismatching licit antecedents, but no group showed any evidence of interference from an intervening competitor antecedent. In Experiment 2, we increased the processing demand by using paced word-by-word stimulus presentation and longer sentences. Here, older participants showed reduced sensitivity, in comparison with younger people, to mismatching licit antecedents. Unlike our younger participants, they showed signs of distraction by the presence of a linearly closer but grammatically inappropriate antecedent when no appropriate antecedent was available.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Jana Reifegerste, Claudia FelserORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0183
ISSN:1092-4388
ISSN:1558-9102
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=29222531
Parent Title (English):Journal of speech, language, and hearing research
Publisher:American Speech-Language-Hearing Assoc.
Place of publication:Rockville
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2017
Year of Completion:2017
Release Date:2020/04/20
Volume:60
Pagenumber:17
First Page:3573
Last Page:3589
Funder:Alexander-von-Humboldt-Professorship
Organizational units:Zentrale und wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen / Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM)
Peer Review:Referiert