Influence of animacy and grammatical role on production and comprehension of intersentential pronouns in German L1-acquisition

  • In anaphora resolution theory, it has been assumed that anaphora resolution is based on a reversed mapping of antecedent salience and anaphora complexity: minimal complex anaphora refer to maximal salient antecedents. In order to ex-amine whether and by which developmental steps German children gain command of this mapping maxim we conducted an experiment on production and comprehension of intersentential pronouns including the three pronoun types zero, personal, and demonstrative pronoun. With respect to antecedent salience, the experiment varied syntactic role (subject/object) and in/animacy. Six age groups of children (age range from 2;0 to 6;0) and an adult control group has been tested. The hypothesis arising from the mapping maxim is that zero pronoun correlates with more salient antecedents than personal and demonstrative pronoun, the latter correlating with the least salient antecedents. The results are: In production, children first establish the opposition of zero pronoun with animate antecedents vs. demonstrative pronoun with inanimate antecedents. In a next step, syntactic role comes into play and a more complex system opposing the three presented pronoun types is established. In comprehension, however, the effect of pronoun type re-mains weak and antecedent features remain a strong factor in reference choice. However, also adults employ pronoun type and antecedent features. The oldest children and the adults show variation in personal pronoun resolution according to the animacy pattern of the potential antecedents. In case of identical animacy features, the subject is the preferred candidate; in case of distinct animacy features, there is a tendency to choose the object antecedent.

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Author:Dagmar BittnerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Intersentential pronominal reference in child and adult language : proceedings of the Conference on Intersentential Pronominal Reference in Child and Adult Language, December 1 - 2, 2006, Berlin / Dagmar Bittner & Natalia Gagarina (ed.)
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Spracherwerb; Referenz <Linguistik>; Sprachverstehen; Demonstrativpronomen; Personalpronomen; Belebtheit <Grammatik>; Anapher <Syntax>; Referenzidentität; Deutsch
Page Number:36
First Page:103
Last Page:138
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 43 Deutsch, germanische Sprachen allgemein / 430 Germanische Sprachen; Deutsch
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
BDSL-Klassifikation:02.00.00 Deutsche Sprachwissenschaft (in Auswahl) / BDSL-Klassifikation: 02.00.00 Deutsche Sprachwissenschaft > 02.02.00 Studien
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Spracherwerb / Language acquisition
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Semantik / Semantics
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Lexikologie/Etymologie / Lexicology/Etymology
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 48 = Intersentential pronominal reference in child and adult language
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht