Children's eye gaze reveals their use of discourse context in object pronoun resolution



    Dutch-speaking children, like English-speaking children, allow a noncoreferential as well as a coreferential interpretation for an object pronoun. Our question is whether children make use of the structure of the discourse context and the prominence of referents to resolve this pronominal ambiguity. We describe a visual world experiment with Dutch children (4-6 years old) and a control group of adult participants. Three different context types were tested, which varied in the order of referent introduction and the number of referents that were introduced. The children’s behavioral responses suggest that their performance becomes more adult-like when the antecedent is more prominent in the context. The gaze data shows that visual and linguistic context can direct children towards an adult-like interpretation, but also towards an ungrammatical interpretation. This suggests that children between 4-6 years old rely less on grammatical knowledge to resolve an object pronoun than adults, but also use other information such as discourse prominence and visual context.
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelEmpirical perspectives on anaphora resolution
    RedacteurenAnke Holler, Katja Suckow
    Plaats van productieBerlin/Boston
    UitgeverijDe Gruyter
    ISBN van elektronische versie978-3-11-046410-8, 978-3-11-046232-6
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-11-045968-5
    StatusPublished - 2016

    Publicatie series

    NaamLinguistische Arbeiten
    UitgeverijDe Gruyter

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