When do we use 'they' to refer to two individuals? Scenario mapping as a basis for equivalence

Moxey, L.M., Sanford, A.J., Wood, A.I. and Ginter, L. (2011) When do we use 'they' to refer to two individuals? Scenario mapping as a basis for equivalence. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(1), pp. 79-120. (doi: 10.1080/01690961003701865)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01690961003701865


When two individual characters are introduced in discourse, it is often, but not always, possible to make anaphoric reference to them as a complex reference object via a plural pronoun. According to the Equivalence hypothesis, the circumstances under which such reference is possible depend on the equivalence of the characters. Various factors have been suggested as contributing towards equivalence. In this paper we present two sentence-completion experiments which show that the roles played by the characters within a scenario are key in determining character equivalence. We conclude that scenario-mapping theory may provide a basis for equivalence.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moxey, Dr Linda and Sanford, Professor Anthony
Authors: Moxey, L.M., Sanford, A.J., Wood, A.I., and Ginter, L.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Language and Cognitive Processes
ISSN (Online):1464-0732
Published Online:14 April 2010

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
491421Using Scenario-mapping Theory to predict plural referenceLinda MoxeyEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/G022127/1Psychology