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Anaphor Resolution in Text Comprehension Seminar

16:00 - 17:00
26 April 2012
Rooms 3095, Level 3 Shackleton Building (Building 44) University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email .

Event details

In this talk I will present JANUS, a framework for understanding anaphor processing. According to JANUS the use of anaphoric expression is determined by both backward-looking and forward-looking functions.

I will contrast JANUS with other accounts, such as Centering Theory and Almor’s Informational Load Hypothesis, but emphasise that all focus on a small number of general principles. Forward-looking functions of anaphors are less well-studied than backward-looking functions, but include the signalling of disagreement, contrast, or thematic shift. I will present some evidence for such forward-looking functions, and some as yet untested predictions about the expected effects of such functions. The primary backward-looking function of anaphoric expressions is referent identification. I will present research on factors such as focusing or defocusing of (potential) antecedents and the use of inferences, based on e.g. implicit causality and gender stereotyping, and attempt to show how our results can be integrated within the JANUS model.

Speaker information

Professor Alan Garnham, University of Sussex. Professor of Experimental Psychology

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