PsychAnaphora - Types of anaphora produced in a sentence completion task

This set of materials pertains to a study on the production of explicit pronouns, null pronouns, and repeated-NP anaphors, in European Portuguese. A spreadsheet containing data from 73 participants (young adults), namely, count data for instances of the different types of anaphor that occurred in a sentence completion task, is provided. Complementary materials (Read First file and spreadsheets containing the full set of sentence stems provided to the participants) are also provided. In this study we aimed to characterize, using a sentence-stem completion task, the preference pattern for each type of anaphor (explicit pronouns, null pronouns, and repeated-NP anaphors) as a function of the syntactic relation between the anaphor and its intended antecedent. This study was instrumental for the interpretation of the results obtained in the anaphor comprehension experiments that employed the self-paced reading task and the ERP technique. In fact, if a null pronoun is preferred in a production task when the intended antecedent commands the pronoun’s position, then all sentences in the comprehension studies in which an explicit pronoun was used to retrieve a commanding antecedent breach Grice’s Maxim of Manner (“be perspicuous”). This should trigger a pragmatic inference, namely, an emphasis on the intended antecedent as the sole agent of the action (“the policeman’s daughter argued with the [...] that she [...]" SHE = ONLY the daughter, NOT the policeman) (see the other PsychAnaphora data sets). In the production study, participants could freely choose, as the subject of a relative clause they were asked to create, any element of the complex NP given in the beginning of the sentence stem (the subject of the matrix clause). The focus of our analyses was
the preference for a null vs an explicit pronoun when the participant meant to select a commanding antecedent by means of that pronoun. A significant preference for the null pronoun was in fact unveiled. The name of each of the files presently made available is listed in a Read First document, and their contents are briefly described therein. The SPSS database contains the anaphor-type count data and demographic information (gender, age, years of formal schooling) for the 73 participants who yielded valid data.


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