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Language in Research and Teaching

Proceedings from the CALS Conference 2016

Edited By Marija Brala Vukanović and Anita Memišević

This book aims at bridging language research and language teaching and contains four sections. It opens with two papers which relate language to literature: one exploring childlike language, the second investigating the distinction between literary and non-literary text categorization principles. Next are the papers on multicultural and sociolinguistic topics, including a paper on English as an international language, and two papers on the perception of bilingualism in education. The third thematic section explores semantics, with two papers on prefixes and one on metaphor. The final thematic section is dedicated to syntax, with one paper on complex predicates, one on syntactic complexity in spontaneous spoken language and one of Croatian null and overt subject pronouns.

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Interpretation of Croatian subject pronouns in inter-sentential contexts: An experimental study (Tihana Kraš / Igor Šopar)


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Tihana Kraš

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka

Igor Šopar

Interpretation of Croatian subject pronouns in inter-sentential contexts: An experimental study

Abstract: The paper reports the results of an experiment testing the interpretation of Croatian null and overt subject pronouns in inter-sentential contexts (i.e. contexts across sentences) by two groups of monolingual native speakers, adults aged 21–25 (mean age 23.1) and typically developing children aged 13–15 (mean age 13.8). The participants were presented with sentence pairs, in which the second sentence contained a null or an overt subject pronoun, which was pragmatically biased towards either the subject or the object of the first sentence as the antecedent. They were instructed to express how much sense the second sentence made with respect to the first one on a scale from one to seven. The results showed that the adults preferred to associate the null pronoun with the subject antecedent and the overt pronoun with the object antecedent, suggesting that the two types of Croatian subject pronouns have the same antecedent biases in inter-sentential contexts as in intra-sentential contexts (i.e. contexts within sentences), which were tested in previous studies. In addition, the children showed a clear preference for the subject antecedent in the case of the null pronoun, but were not more likely to associate the overt pronoun with the object than with the subject antecedent, suggesting that adult-like interpretation of...

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