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The Distribution and Processing of Referential Expressions: Evidence from English and Chamorro

  • Author(s): Clothier-Goldschmidt, Scarlett Labouchere
  • Advisor(s): Wagers, Matthew
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

This research is a broad investigation of the distribution of nominal expressions in natural language. I explore the rigidity of the person-animacy hierarchy constraint of the Chamorro language (Chung 1998) using corpus data in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, I present evidence from a self-paced reading study that the 2 >3 component of this constraint is not respected in relative clause processing in English. In Chapter 3, I present corpus data exploring the Accessibility Hierarchy (Ariel 1991) and Centering Theory (Grosz et. al 1995) in English weblogs. While the data presented comes from different languages and different types of measures, I conclude that the distribution and processing of nominals is sensitive to certain grammatical hierarchies and discourse structure.

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