Is anaphoric reference cooperative?

Leila Kantola (Lead / Corresponding author), Roger P. G. van Gompel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
244 Downloads (Pure)


Two experiments investigated whether the choice of anaphoric expression is affected by the presence of an addressee. Following a context sentence and visual scene, participants described a target scene that required anaphoric reference. They described the scene either to an addressee (Experiment 1) or without an addressee (Experiment 2). When an addressee was present in the task, participants used more pronouns and fewer repeated noun phrases when the referent was the grammatical subject in the context sentence than when it was the grammatical object and they used more pronouns when there was no competitor than when there was. They used fewer pronouns and more repeated noun phrases when a visual competitor was present in the scene than when there was no visual competitor. In the absence of an addressee, linguistic context effects were the same as those when an addressee was present, but the visual effect of the competitor disappeared. We conclude that visual salience effects are due to adjustments that speakers make when they produce reference for an addressee, whereas linguistic salience effects appear whether or not speakers have addressees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1128
Number of pages20
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number6
Early online date6 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Anaphor
  • Audience design
  • Linguistic salience
  • Visual context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • General Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Is anaphoric reference cooperative?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this