Shallow processing of ambiguous pronouns: Evidence for delay

Andrew J. Stewart, Judith Holler, Evan Kidd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Two self-paced reading-time experiments examined how ambiguous pronouns are interpreted under conditions that encourage shallow processing. In Experiment 1 we show that sentences containing ambiguous pronouns are processed at the same speed as those containing unambiguous pronouns under shallow processing, but more slowly under deep processing. We outline three possible models to account for the shallow processing of ambiguous pronouns. Two involve an initial commitment followed by possible revision, and the other involves a delay in interpretation. In Experiment 2 we provide evidence that supports the delayed model of ambiguous pronoun resolution under shallow processing. We found no evidence to support a processing system that makes an initial commitment to an interpretation of the pronoun when it is encountered. We extend the account of pronoun resolution proposed by Rigalleau, Caplan, and Baudiffier (2004) to include the treatment of ambiguous pronouns under shallow processing. © 2007 The Experimental Psychology Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1680-1696
    Number of pages16
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


    Dive into the research topics of 'Shallow processing of ambiguous pronouns: Evidence for delay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this