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Quantifiers and the Focus of Anaphoric Reference: A cross-linguistic study
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för konst och humaniora (FKH), Institutionen för språk (SPR).
2019 (Engelska)Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (masterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents an acceptability judgment study on interpretation of anaphoric reference to preceding quantified expressions. Quantifiers are used to express information about quantities, and a number of psycholinguistic studies researched the differences in individual interpretation of such expressions. Moxey and Sanford (1987) have shown that quantifiers not only differ in the proportions they denote but also in the property of focus – they direct focus of anaphoric reference on different aspects of contextual situation, depending on the polarity of the quantifiers (positive vs. negative). The aim of this study was to investigate the focusing properties of four Serbian and four English quantifiers (two positive and two negative) in a comprehension process of acceptability judgments tasks. In line with the observation of Moxey and Sanford (1987), it was expected that the interpretations of negative quantifiers would differ from interpretations of positive quantifiers, as a result of different properties of focus. In Experiment 1 there were 32 native Serbian participants who read a series of quantified sentences and rated their acceptability. The results offered empiric evidence of different patterns of focus of anaphoric reference: for positive quantifiers, anaphoric reference could only be to the Reference set, while for negative quantifiers, it could be both to the Reference and Complement set. The study was then expanded to native Serbian speakers who are advanced users of English in Experiment 2, employing the same experimental design but in English. Notably, these speakers demonstrated patterns of focus of anaphoric reference similar to those in Experiment 1. The results showed that transfer from the native language, Serbian, might have played an important role in interpretation of quantified sentences by Serbian individuals who are advanced users of English.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2019. , s. 36
Nyckelord [en]
Focus of quantifiers, anaphora, acceptability judgments, English, Serbian
Nationell ämneskategori
Humaniora och konst
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-83170OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-83170DiVA, id: diva2:1317591
Ämne / kurs
Engelska
Handledare
Examinatorer
Tillgänglig från: 2019-06-27 Skapad: 2019-05-23 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-07-16Bibliografiskt granskad

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Lappalainen, Aleksandra
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Institutionen för språk (SPR)
Humaniora och konst

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