Linguistic and cognitive prominence in anaphor resolution: Topic, contrastive focus and pronouns

Topoi 26 (1):3-18 (2007)
This paper examines the role that linguistic and cognitive prominence play in the resolution of anaphor–antecedent relationships. In two experiments, we found that pronouns are immediately sensitive to the cognitive prominence of potential antecedents when other antecedent selection cues are uninformative. In experiment 1, results suggest that despite their theoretical dissimilarities, topic and contrastive focus both serve to enhance cognitive prominence. Results from experiment 2 suggest that the contrastive prosody appropriate for focus constructions may also play an important role in enhancing cognitive prominence. Thus different types of linguistic prominence (topic, contrastive focus) appear to have the common effect of increasing the cognitive prominence of the discourse referent. For pronouns with two possible antecedents, the cognitive prominence of an antecedent aids in anaphor resolution, immediately biasing selection towards the more prominent (and ultimately preferred) antecedent.
Keywords Anaphora  Language processing  Presupposition  Topic  Focus  Constrastive  Pronouns  Discourse  Mental models  Cross-modal
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-006-9004-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,774
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #138,374 of 1,728,009 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #264,055 of 1,728,009 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.