We are very happy to announce the next talk in the Recent Trends in Linguistic Research Colloquium, which will take place on Tuesday, January 29, 2 – 4 pm in IG 0.251.
Markus Bader, Yvonne Portele and Alice Schäfer will present “From word order to interpretation — effects of referential form on language production and comprehension”.
Our talk gives an overview of our recent research concerning the production and interpretation of different referential expressions.
The main focus lies on the distinction between personal pronouns on the one hand and demonstrative and d-pronouns (dieser/der) on the other hand. With regard to sentence production, we show that the likelihood and acceptability of sentences with non-canonical word order does depend not only on the discourse status of the various referents (e.g., given versus new) but also on the referential form that is used to refer to them. In particular, under identical discourse conditions, objects are more easily preposed when they are realized as d-pronouns. With regard to interpretation, our results replicate the finding that for prototypical context sentences (subject-object word order, sentence-initial topic) d-pronouns prefer the sentence-final, non-topical object as antecedent. However, when we take a wider variety of contexts into account, the preferred interpretation of d-pronouns can be captured only when syntactic function, linear position and topicality are taken into account simultaneously. Furthermore, we show that semantic factors (verb semantics, coherence) affect personal pronouns and d-pronouns in the same way.
You are all cordially invited.