Chapter 4. Animacy-based processing loads in anaphora resolution in (non-native) French
Evidence for privileged interface representations
This article examines animacy-based processing loads in conceptual structure in native and non-native processing of French during the resolution of pronouns lui/elle ‘3p.sing.masc/fem’, son ‘3p.sing.gen,’ and le/la ‘3p.sing.masc/fem.acc’ in displaced constituents under reconstruction. Both lui and son in décision (à propos de lui)/(à son sujet) ‘decision about him’ involve complements, whereas le in décision le concernant ‘decision regarding him’ involves modification. In a group of advanced non-native speakers, animacy activations linked to lui differed from those linked to son relative to baseline le, despite complement status. This was not the case in native speakers. We argue that processing lui/elle vs. son in conceptual structure engages animacy at distinct levels, reflecting lexical selection and indicating that lexically defined interface representations are privileged.
Keywords: sentence processing, conceptual structure, binding, co-reference, anaphora