D-linking or set-restriction? Processing Which-questions in DutchDonkers, J., Hoeks, J. C. J. & Stowe, L. A., 1-Jan-2013, In : Language and Cognitive Processes. 28, 1-2, p. 9-28 20 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review
Research on Wh-questions suggests that Which questions are harder to process than Who questions (e.g., Who/Which athlete won the competition?). According to the Discourse (D)-linking Hypothesis, Which-questions differ from Who-questions in that Which questions need a link to a preceding discourse, while Who questions do not. However, this difference in processing may also be caused by differences in set-restriction. Who is much less restrictive in the set of potential referents it presupposes than Which N (e.g., Which athlete). A self-paced reading study investigated how Who and Which N questions were processed compared to questions involving the generic Which person, which refer to the same relatively unrestrictive referential set as Who. Our results showed that Which N questions were significantly more difficult than Which person or Who questions in object initial structures, supporting the hypothesis that increased processing cost for Which should be explained by a mechanism of set-restriction inherent to Which N questions. Additionally we found that the syntactic role of the possible referents in the discourse context affects question processing before the readers encountered disambiguating information.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Language and Cognitive Processes|
|Publication status||Published - 1-Jan-2013|
- Sentence comprehension, Discourse linking, Set restriction, Wh-questions, SYNTACTIC INTEGRATION, WH-QUESTIONS, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, WORKING MEMORY, COMPREHENSION, CONTEXT, VIOLATIONS, DISCOURSE