How do we understand what pronouns refer to?
IN 312E (Innis College)
Our speaker Tiana Simovic has kindly shared more details about the talk to us! Here’s what she said:
When you hear a sentence like “I had pizza for lunch today, and it was delicious!”, how do you understand what “it” refers to? Much psycholinguistic research suggests that we match pronouns to their intended antecedents (in this case, ‘pizza’) by “reactivating” semantic information stored in memory about the antecedent. However, I will talk about some of my recent work using eye tracking showing that this is not always the case.
I’m a Ph.D. student in Psychology (area: Perception, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience) here at U of T, and my research is in psycholinguistics. I’m part of the Perception, Action, and Language Laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Craig Chambers. My research is about how we understand ambiguous referential expressions like pronouns and how pragmatics is involved in this process. I also do a bit of computational research on the side!