The pronoun interpretation problem in child Hungarian

Rákosi, György and Tóth, Enikő (2016) The pronoun interpretation problem in child Hungarian. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 63 (1). pp. 63-96. ISSN 1216-8076


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In a number of languages, children have problems with the interpretation of pronouns if a potential local antecedent is present. There is an intensive debate on whether this effect is due to a delayed acquisition of Principle B, or it is the result of pragmatic or processing difficulties that children face in interpretation tasks. We conducted two experiments involving a picture-sentence verification task to investigate whether the Pronoun Interpretation Problem exists in Hungarian child language. We found that the Problem is present if the test sentences are given in isolation, but it disappears if a minimally coherent discourse is created. We argue that our results support the view that the binding principles are innate and do not need to be acquired, but children have problems with computing coreference options in certain contexts (Reinhart 2004; 2006; 2011). Coherent discourse allows children to accommodate pronouns with close to adult-like success because in this case they do not calculate local coreference possibilities for pronouns.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet > P40 Sociolinguistics / szociolingvisztika
P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > PH Finno-Ugrian, Basque languages and literatures / finnugor és baszk nyelvek és irodalom > PH04 Hungarian language and literature / magyar nyelv és irodalom
Depositing User: László Sallai-Tóth
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2016 08:28
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2018 23:15

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