Clausal interference during reference production

van Gompel, Roger P. G. and Fukumura, Kumiko (2013) Clausal interference during reference production. In: PRE-CogSci 2013, 2013-07-31.

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Abstract

Four sentence completion experiments investigated how language producers refer back to human characters when they are mentioned in different clauses in the preceding sentence. Participants produced fewer pronouns and more names when the characters were mentioned in the same type of clause (both main or both subordinate) than when they were mentioned in different clause types. This suggests that clauses with the same status interfere, thereby making the discourse entities less accessible. Participants also used more pronouns and fewer names when the antecedent was in a main than a subordinate clause and when it was the most recent rather than a more distant clause, indicating that main and recent clauses are most accessible.