Anaphoric Islands and Anaphoric Forms: The Role of Explicit and Implicit Focus

GARNHAM, Alan, OAKHILL, Jane and REYNOLDS, David (2018). Anaphoric Islands and Anaphoric Forms: The Role of Explicit and Implicit Focus. Discourse Processes, 55 (2), 197-205.

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Two experiments are reported in which people resolve references to sets of entities (e.g. lies) that have previously been introduced either explicitly into a text (“the lies”) or implicitly via a cognate verb (a form of the verb “to lie”). Pronominal references to such entities were judged as relatively unacceptable, and required longer judgement times when judgements were positive, compared to cases in which the antecedent was explicit. This finding suggests that the inference from the activity of lying to a set of lies is made in the backwards direction (Garnham & Oakhill, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 40A, 719-735) . Results with full noun phrase anaphors show a different pattern, with no penalty in either times or acceptability judgements for the implicit case. The results are discussed in terms of Sanford and Garrod’s (1981, Understanding written language) hypotheses about reference processing and the notion of the centrality of an antecedent in a scenario.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Departments: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Identification Number:
Depositing User: David Reynolds
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2017 12:09
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2019 08:00

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