Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm Venue: ArtsTwo 2.17
The Processing and Production of Referential Expressions in Neurotypical and Clinical Groups
In this talk, I will highlight the results of five experiments to discuss the processing and production of referential expressions in neurotypical and clinical groups.
With neurotypical groups, anaphors (e.g., it, they) and demonstratives (e.g., this, these) are assumed to signal different procedural instructions. With this in mind, we predicted: (1) while the anaphor it would bring a concrete entity into a reader's focus, the demonstrative this would direct the focus to a predicate proposition in a discourse representation, and (2) readers would prefer they when referring to a smaller paired group within the context, but would prefer these when referring to a larger (maximal) grouping. To test these predictions, we conducted two eye-tracking reading and two sentence-completion experiments with native speakers of English. Our results revealed: (a) the processing and use of anaphoric expressions is affected by the interaction between the lexical characteristics of referential forms and different types of referents, (b) the antecedent-grouping preference depends on type of referring expressions, and (c) the demonstrative refers to a more complex referent than that of anaphora.