The effect of syntax-semantics mismatch on referent predictability: Evidence from Chinese

Wei ChengUniversity of South Carolina
Man YuanChengdu University of Information Technology
Fernanda FerreiraUniversity of South Carolina
Amit AlmorUniversity of South Carolina

Abstract

Previous studies on reference tracking have established the importance of semantic factors in affecting the likelihood of re-mentioning a referent. This paper extends this line of research by investigating the interaction between syntax and semantics in this process. We conducted a Chinese sentence-completion experiment and found that the degree of syntax-semantics mismatch affects a referent’s likelihood of re-mention. The results thus support a theory relating a referent’s salience in discourse to its likelihood of re-mention.

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The effect of syntax-semantics mismatch on referent predictability: Evidence from Chinese (254 KB)



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