This study investigated whether advanced Chinese ESL learners use gender, number, and other constraints during the reading of sentences containing pronouns and reflexives. Results showed a robust effect of a gender mismatch between a reflexive and its antecedent for both native and nonnative speaker groups, but a robust effect of a number mismatch only for the native group. Overall, in on-line reading, ESL learners were variably sensitive to different constraints on coreference. Most notably, although they know explicitly that reflexives must match antecedents in number, this knowledge does not appear to come into play during on-line processing.
Selected Proceedings of the 2008 Second Language Research Forum: Exploring SLA Perspectives, Positions, and Practices
edited by Matthew T. Prior, Yukiko Watanabe, and Sang-Ki Lee
Table of contents