Pronominal feature distinctions in English

Janet Nicol, Meghan O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study reports the results of a study in which participants were asked to repeat a sentence and produce a tag question (e.g. The girl behind the headmaster got punished, didn't she?). Holding the head noun phrase constant, three properties of the noun phrase within the modifier were manipulated: number (e.g., headmaster, headmasters), gender (e.g., headmaster, headmistress), and animacy (e.g., headmaster, blackboard), and the goal of the study was to determine whether different types of mismatch interfered with the pronoun agreement process to different extents. Results showed a robust effect of a number mismatch, no effect of an animacy mismatch, and a small effect of a gender mismatch. These differences are discussed with reference to how words are stored in the lexicon and how they are represented during sentence processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-162
Number of pages30
JournalItalian Journal of Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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