Patterson, Clare ORCID: 0000-0002-0790-4892, Esaulova, Yulia and Felser, Claudia ORCID: 0000-0001-9424-0950 (2017). The impact of focus on pronoun resolution in native and non-native sentence comprehension. Second Language Research, 33 (4). pp. 403-429. ISSN 0267-6583

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Non-native speakers’ sensitivity to discourse-level cues in pronoun interpretation has not been widely researched. We carried out three antecedent-choice questionnaire experiments which investigate the impact of focus on within-sentence pronoun resolution in native and non-native speakers of German and native speakers of Russian. Focus was realized via cleft structures and focus-sensitive particles (FSPs). Findings show a clear difference between native and non-native speakers that is not attributable to first language (L1) influence. Native speakers of German and Russian were less likely to resolve the pronoun to an antecedent in focus via a cleft compared to a non-focused antecedent in the same position (the ‘anti-focus effect’). Unlike the native speakers, non-native speakers did not show an anti-focus effect with clefts but showed a tendency to resolve a pronoun to an antecedent appearing with an FSP. We argue that non-native speakers do not always complete a detailed analysis of the information structural cues when seeking an antecedent and may instead be influenced by surface-level cues that highlight certain antecedents.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-503804
DOI: 10.1177/0267658317697786
Journal or Publication Title: Second Language Research
Volume: 33
Number: 4
Page Range: pp. 403-429
Date: 2017
ISSN: 0267-6583
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 3: Deutsche Sprache und Literatur > Institut für Deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
Collaborative Research Centers > CRC 1252: Prominence in Language > TP C07
Subjects: Language, Linguistics
Refereed: Yes


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