Coreferential Interpretations of Reflexives in Picture Noun Phrases: An Experimental Approach
Micah B. Goldwater and Jeffrey T. Runner
28-34 (complete paper
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The research presented in this paper tests the claim experimentally that reflexives in picture NPs such as a picture of himself can be interpreted as both bound variable and coreferential anaphora. Participants listened to sentences describing the scene in front of them and were asked to indicate whether the sentence accurately described the scene by pressing a "yes" or "no" button. The experimental sentences contained picture NP reflexives and the scenes supported either a bound variable interpretation or a coreferential interpretation, or both, or neither. Their "yes"/"no" responses and response latencies were recorded. The results suggest that listeners do interpret picture NP reflexives both as bound variables and as coreferential anaphora, supporting the view of Binding Theory advocated by researchers such as Pollard and Sag (1992), Reinhart and Reuland (1993), and Grodzinsky and Reinhart (1993), who argue for dividing English reflexives into two classes: true structural reflexives and BT-exempt, or logophoric, reflexives.
Proceedings of the 2004 Texas Linguistics Society Conference: Issues at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface
edited by Pascal Denis, Eric McCready, Alexis Palmer, and Brian Reese
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