Tracking referents in discourse
This reading study registered eye movements to investigate the influence of different discourse constructional factors on anaphor resolution in written discourse. More specifically, the study focused on the influence of the possible interplay of proximity between a possible referent and the anaphor and amount of elaboration on the time course of the different processes involved in anaphor resolution. Results at the anaphoric expression and the area immediately following the anaphoric expression reveal an effect of elaboration, but only in total reading times and second pass reading times. No effects were found at the reinstated referent. These results indicate that the difference in saliency between two possible referents almost directly influences anaphor resolution. We discuss these findings in relation to the time course of different processes in anaphor resolution such as bonding and resolution, in combination with a reading strategy that readers are satisfied with a superficial interpretation.
Published online: 31 August 2012