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The role of gender information in pronoun resolution: evidence from Chinese.

  • Author(s): Qiu, Lijing
  • Swaab, Tamara Y
  • Chen, Hsuan-Chih
  • Wang, Suiping
  • et al.
Abstract

Although previous studies have consistently demonstrated that gender information is used to resolve pronouns, the mechanisms underlying the use of gender information continue to be controversial. The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate whether working memory modulates the effect of gender information on pronoun resolution. The critical pronoun agreed or disagreed with its antecedent in gender. Moreover, the distance between a pronoun and its antecedent was varied to assess the influence of working memory. Compared with the congruent pronouns, the incongruent pronouns elicited an N400 effect in the short distance condition and a P600 effect in the long distance condition. The results suggest that the effect of gender information on pronoun comprehension is modulated by working memory.

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