Jennifer E. Arnold

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Variations in postverbal constituent ordering have been attributed to both grammatical complexity (heaviness) and discourse status (newness), although few studies compare the two factors explicitly. Through corpus analysis and experimentation, we demonstrate that both factors simultaneously and independently influence word order in two English(More)
Two story-telling experiments examine the process of choosing between pronouns and proper names in speaking. Such choices are traditionally attributed to speakers striving to make referring expressions maximally interpretable to addressees. The experiments revealed a novel effect: even when a pronoun would not be ambiguous, the presence of another character(More)
Speakers are often disfluent, for example, saying "theee uh candle" instead of "the candle." Production data show that disfluencies occur more often during references to things that are discourse-new, rather than given. An eyetracking experiment shows that this correlation between disfluency and discourse status affects speech comprehensions. Subjects(More)
Eye-tracking and gating experiments examined reference comprehension with fluent (Click on the red. . .) and disfluent (Click on [pause] thee uh red . . .) instructions while listeners viewed displays with 2 familiar (e.g., ice cream cones) and 2 unfamiliar objects (e.g., squiggly shapes). Disfluent instructions made unfamiliar objects more expected, which(More)
One of the core components of language is referring, which requires the speaker to choose between expressions that are highly explicit (e.g., the UNC professor, or Peter), and reduced lexical forms (e.g., he). This paper reviews claims that this process is largely driven by the accessibility or salience of the referent, and the psychological processes that(More)
Generative grammarians have relied on introspective intuitions of well-formedness as their primary source of data. The overreliance on this one type of data and the unsystematic manner in which they are collected cast doubt on the empirical basis of a great deal of syntactic theorizing. These concerns are illustrated with examples and one more detailed case(More)
Most research on the rapid mental processes of on-line language processing has been limited to the study of idealized, fluent utterances. Yet speakers are often disfluent, for example, saying "thee, uh, candle" instead of "the candle." By monitoring listeners' eye movements to objects in a display, we demonstrated that the fluency of an article ("thee uh"(More)
Two eye-tracking experiments examine whether adults and 4- and 5-year-old children use the presence or absence of accenting to guide their interpretation of noun phrases (e.g., the bacon) with respect to the discourse context. Unaccented nouns tend to refer to contextually accessible referents, while accented variants tend to be used for less accessible(More)
Two experiments were conducted to examine the on-line processing mechanisms used by young children to comprehend pronouns. The work focuses on their use of two highly relevant sources of information: (1) the gender and number features carried by English pronouns, and (2) the differing accessibility of discourse entities, as influenced by order-of-mention in(More)
Three experiments investigated whether speakers use constituent ordering as a mechanism for avoiding ambiguities. In utterances like ‘‘Jane showed the letter to Mary to her mother,’’ alternate orders would avoid the temporary PPattachment ambiguity (‘‘Jane showed her mother the letter to Mary,’’ or ‘‘Jane showed to her mother the letter to Mary’’). A(More)