Woman reads on tablet
Woman reads on tablet

Do discourse expectations immediately affect pronoun resolution during reading?

1 January 2021 until 31 December 2023
Project member(s)
Dr S.L. Frank (Stefan) , Emiel van den Hoven (University of Potsdam) , Torgrim Solstad (University of Bielefeld) , Oliver Bott (University of Bielefeld)
Project type

Some interpersonal verbs, such as "amuse'' and "admire'', are associated with a strong bias in favour of either their subject or their object as the cause of the described event. For example, in "Mary amuses Sophie because she..." people expect the pronoun "she" to refer to Mary (the subject), whereas in "John admires Jack because he..." the pronoun seems to refer to the Jack (the object). Using self-paced reading and eye-tracking during reading, we investigate at which point during comprehension this bias plays a role. This project is a pre-registered replication of a study by Koornneef & Van Berkum (Journal of Memory and Language, 2006).


  • Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • University of Bielefeld


  • University of Potsdam
  • University of Bielefeld

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