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Pronoun ambiguity resolution in Greek: evidence from monolingual adults and children

Papadopoulou, D., Peristeri, E., Plemenou, E., Tsimpli, I. and Marinis, T. (2015) Pronoun ambiguity resolution in Greek: evidence from monolingual adults and children. Lingua, 155. pp. 98-120. ISSN 0024-3841

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2014.09.006

Abstract/Summary

A large body of psycholinguistic research has revealed that during sentence interpretation adults coordinate multiple sources of information. Particularly, they draw both on linguistic properties of the message and on information from the context to constrain their interpretations. Relatively little however is known about how this integrative processor develops through language acquisition and about how children process language. In this study, two on-line picture verification tasks were used to examine how 1st, 2nd and 4th/5th grade monolingual Greek children resolve pronoun ambiguities during sentence interpretation and how their performance compares to that of adults on the same tasks. Specifically, we manipulated the type of subject pronoun, i.e. null or overt, and examined how this affected participants’ preferences for competing antecedents, i.e. in the subject or object position. The results revealed both similarities and differences in how adults and the various child groups comprehended ambiguous pronominal forms. Particularly, although adults and children alike showed sensitivity to the distribution of overt and null subject pronouns, this did not always lead to convergent interpretation preferences.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:45532
Publisher:Elsevier

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