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      Offline interpretation of subject pronouns by native speakers of Spanish

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          Abstract

          Research on anaphora resolution reveals that speakers’ interpretation of pronominal subjects is often inconsistent, with results differing in terms of the antecedent preferences of these speakers and the factors that affect these preferences. The present study investigates anaphora resolution by native speakers of Spanish using an offline judgment task where participants are presented with globally ambiguous anaphora to test the predictions of Carminati’s ( 2002) Position of Antecedent Strategy (PAS) with Spanish intra-sentential Main-Subordinate anaphora. The results show that native speakers of Iberian Spanish have a clear preference for the object as the antecedent for the overt pronoun with this structure, while a preference for the subject as the antecedent for the null pronoun was not revealed. These findings appear to be at odds with the PAS and suggest that anaphora resolution is affected by clause order.

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          Most cited references25

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          Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse

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            Coherence and Coreference Revisited.

            For more than three decades, research into the psycholinguistics of pronoun interpretation has argued that hearers use various interpretation 'preferences' or 'strategies' that are associated with specific linguistic properties of antecedent expressions. This focus is a departure from the type of approach outlined in Hobbs (1979), who argues that the mechanisms supporting pronoun interpretation are driven predominantly by semantics, world knowledge and inference, with particular attention to how these are used to establish the coherence of a discourse. On the basis of three new experimental studies, we evaluate a coherence-driven analysis with respect to four previously proposed interpretation biases-based on grammatical role parallelism, thematic roles, implicit causality, and subjecthood-and argue that the coherence-driven analysis can explain the underlying source of the biases and predict in what contexts evidence for each will surface. The results further suggest that pronoun interpretation is incrementally influenced by probabilistic expectations that hearers have regarding what coherence relations are likely to ensue, together with their expectations about what entities will be mentioned next, which, crucially, are conditioned on those coherence relations.
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              Thematic roles, focus and the representation of events

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                16 February 2018
                2018
                : 3
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Kent, GB
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.256
                da5dcb7f-d31f-4d0e-a6f9-3c9ba42a1d16
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Research

                General linguistics,Linguistics & Semiotics
                offline interpretation,Spanish,antecedent preferences,subject pronouns,Anaphora resolution

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