Journal of Semantics 7 (4):321-345 (1990)

On-line mechanisms in the processing of anaphora were investigated in two reading experiments. Short German texts were presented incrementally for self-paced reading, and inspection times were recorded for every single word. Each text contained a critical two-clause sentence with an elliptical gap and a personal pronoun. In the first experiment, varying the surface structure of the antecedent clause affected inspection times for the anaphor clause as a whole. In the second experiment, varying the semantic structure of the antecedent affected antecedent but not anaphor inspection times. The findings are not in agreement with the view that anaphor resolution is an exclusively retroactive process triggered on encountering the anaphor. Rather, the results suggest that anaphor resolution includes proactive subprocesses: foundations for interpreting anaphora yet to come are laid during reading the antecedent
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DOI 10.1093/jos/7.4.321
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