Vehicle Change in Right-Node Raising and Verb Phrase Ellipsis in English and Turkish

Eren Gezen, Emine
In this study, I aim to investigate the interpretation and processing of anaphors under ellipsis. In particular, I am interested in the role of Vehicle Change (VC) in anaphora resolution in two elliptical constructions: Verb Phrase Ellipsis (VPE) and Right Node Raising (RNR) in L1 Turkish and L1 and L2 English. VC is a semantic process that allows non-pronominals to be interpreted as pronominals under ellipsis. I examined whether sentences whose interpretation requires VC are processed with more difficulties than those in which VC is not required, with the aim of determining whether VC is computationally demanding. To see a possible effect of VC in anaphora interpretation and in linguistic processing, I focus on the interpretation and on the on-line processing of ambiguous VPE and RNR sentences where the elided portion contains either a reflexive or a possessive anaphor. I also investigate how gender (mis)match between the antecedent and the anaphor, the directionality of anaphora, and the head directionality parameter of the language (head-initial versus head-final) affect the anaphora interpretation under ellipsis. I relied on offline semantic interpretation tasks and online self-paced reading experiment. The results revealed that the interpretations that required VC were dispreferred, suggesting that they are difficult and computationally costly. I found no effect of gender (mis)match on the interpretation of the anaphors. Lastly, there were mixed results regarding the effect of the directionality of anaphora and of the head directionality of a language on the interpretation.


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Citation Formats
E. Eren Gezen, “Vehicle Change in Right-Node Raising and Verb Phrase Ellipsis in English and Turkish,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.