The interpretation of german personal pronouns and d-pronouns

Three experiments investigated the interpretation and production of pronouns in German. The first two experiments probed the preferred interpretation of a pronoun in contexts containing two potential antecedents by havin
Three experiments investigated the interpretation and production of pronouns in German. The first two experiments probed the preferred interpretation of a pronoun in contexts containing two potential antecedents by having participants complete a sentence fragment starting either with a personal pronoun or a d-pronoun. We systematically varied three properties of the potential antecedents: syntactic function, linear position, and topicality. The results confirm a subject preference for personal pronouns. The preferred interpretation of d-pronouns cannot be captured by any of the three factors alone. Although a d-pronoun preferentially refers to the non-topic in many cases, this preference can be overridden by the other two factors, linear position and syntactic function. In order to test whether interpretive preferences follow from production biases as proposed by the Bayesian theory of Kehler et al. (2008), a third experiment had participants freely produce a continuation sentence for the contexts of the first two experiments. The results show that personal pronouns are used more often to refer to a subject than to an object, recapitulating the subject preference found for interpretation and thereby confirming the account of Kehler et al. (2008). The interpretation results for the d-pronoun likewise follow from the corresponding production data.
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Metadaten
Author:Markus Bader, Yvonne Portele
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-564857
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/zfs-2019-2002
ISSN:1613-3706
ISSN:0721-9067
Parent Title (German):Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft
Publisher:De Gruyter
Place of publication:Berlin [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2019/08/20
Year of first Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/11/20
Tag:d-pronoun; language comprehension; language production; personal pronoun; pronoun resolution
Volume:38.2019
Issue:2
Pagenumber:36
First Page:155
Last Page:190
Institutes:Neuere Philologien
Dewey Decimal Classification:430 Germanische Sprachen; Deutsch
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0

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