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Structural constraints on pronoun binding and coreference: Evidence from eye movements during reading

  • A number of recent studies have investigated how syntactic and non-syntactic constraints combine to cue memory retrieval during anaphora resolution. In this paper we investigate how syntactic constraints and gender congruence interact to guide memory retrieval during the resolution of subject pronouns. Subject pronouns are always technically ambiguous, and the application of syntactic constraints on their interpretation depends on properties of the antecedent that is to be retrieved. While pronouns can freely corefer with non-quantified referential antecedents, linking a pronoun to a quantified antecedent is only possible in certain syntactic configurations via variable binding. We report the results from a judgment task and three online reading comprehension experiments investigating pronoun resolution with quantified and non-quantified antecedents. Results from both the judgment task and participants' eye movements during reading indicate that comprehenders freely allow pronouns to corefer with non-quantified antecedents, but thatA number of recent studies have investigated how syntactic and non-syntactic constraints combine to cue memory retrieval during anaphora resolution. In this paper we investigate how syntactic constraints and gender congruence interact to guide memory retrieval during the resolution of subject pronouns. Subject pronouns are always technically ambiguous, and the application of syntactic constraints on their interpretation depends on properties of the antecedent that is to be retrieved. While pronouns can freely corefer with non-quantified referential antecedents, linking a pronoun to a quantified antecedent is only possible in certain syntactic configurations via variable binding. We report the results from a judgment task and three online reading comprehension experiments investigating pronoun resolution with quantified and non-quantified antecedents. Results from both the judgment task and participants' eye movements during reading indicate that comprehenders freely allow pronouns to corefer with non-quantified antecedents, but that retrieval of quantified antecedents is restricted to specific syntactic environments. We interpret our findings as indicating that syntactic constraints constitute highly weighted cues to memory retrieval during anaphora resolution.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Claudia FelserORCiDGND, Clare Patterson, Ian Cunnings
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-78650
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychology
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (277)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2015/06/23
Year of Completion:2015
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2015/07/30
Tag:English
eye movements; memory retrieval; pronoun resolution; quantification; reading
Organizational units:Zentrale und wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen / Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle