The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 18, No. 4, pp.395-422
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2018
Received 20 Oct 2018 Revised 10 Dec 2018 Accepted 16 Oct 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15738/kjell.18.4.201812.395

Anaphora Resolution Strategies in L2 Reading

Yeon Hee Choi* ; Herim Ahn ; Jinyoung Lee**
Professor, Dept. of English Education Ewha Womans University 52 Ewhayeodaegil, Seodaemungu Seoul 03760 yhchoi@ewha.ac.kr
Graduate Student, Dept. of English Education Ewha Womans University 52 Ewhayeodaegil, Seodaemungu Seoul, 03760 ahnherim@naver.com
Graduate Student, Dept. of English Education Ewha Womans University 52 Ewhayeodaegil, Seodaemungu Seoul, 03760 irubhot@naver.com

Correspondence to: Yeon Hee Choi Professor, Dept. of English Education Ewha Womans University 52 Ewhayeodaegil, Seodaemungu Seoul 03760 Korea Tel: 0232772655 Email: yhchoi@ewha.ac.kr
Co-authors : Graduate Student, Dept. of English Education Ewha Womans University 52 Ewhayeodaegil, Seodaemungu Seoul, 03760, Korea Email: irubhot@naver.com

Abstract

Choi, Yeon Hee, Herim Ahn and Jinyoung Lee. 2018. Anaphora resolution strategies in L2 reading. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 18-4, 395-422. This paper aims to investigate L2 learners’ strategies for anaphora resolution in reading by L2 proficiency levels and academic backgrounds and by anaphora types and inferential complexity levels of anaphoric ties. Data was collected using think-aloud protocols and mouse movements captured on the computer screen of 16 Korean EFL college students performing an anaphora resolution test. The participants were recruited from two proficiency levels and two academic disciplinary areas. Results revealed dominant anaphora resolution strategies shared by the participants due to the nature of anaphora resolution and simulated testing context, such as reading the prior sentence and translating the target sentence, regardless of anaphora types. Yet, they also presented variations in anaphora resolution strategy use by anaphora and reader variables. For pronouns with low ties the L2 students relied on reference chains, whereas syntactic constraints were prevalently deployed for pronouns with high ties. For demonstrative adjectives with low ties repeated noun phrases were preferred antecedents, while use of world knowledge and topic preference appeared as frequent strategies for those with high ties. The lower level students preferred to use semantic knowledge; the higher level ones utilized syntactic and discourse knowledge. The science majors tended to focus on local sentences, while the humanities majors, especially the higher-level students, read the whole passage before identifying the antecedent. Findings from the study suggest certain strategies are preferred depending on anaphora types and levels of ties as well as L2 learners’ proficiency levels and academic backgrounds.

Keywords:

anaphora, anaphora resolution, pronoun, demonstrative adjective, antecedent, reference, cohesion, cognitive process, strategies, L2 reading, EFL reading

References

  • Alderson, J. C. 1996. The testing of reading. In C. Nuttall, ed., Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language, 212-228. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.
  • Anderson, R. C. 1977. Schema-Directed Processes in Language Comprehension. (Technical Report No. 50) Urbana, IL: Center for or the Study of Reading at University of Illinois.
  • Ariel, M. 1994. Interpreting anaphoric expressions: A cognitive versus a pragmatic approach. Journal of Linguistics 30(1), 3-42. [https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700016170]
  • Arnold, J. E. 2001. The effect of thematic roles on pronoun use and frequency of preference continuation. Discourse Processes 31(2), 137-162. [https://doi.org/10.1207/S15326950DP3102_02]
  • Bensoussan, M. 1984. Aspects of Cohesion and Coherence in Context: Investigating Causes of Difficulty of Israeli University Students Reading Texts in English. Doctoral dissertation, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Berkemeyer, V. C. 1991. The Effect of Anaphora on the Cognitive Processing and Comprehension of Readers of German at Various Levels of Baseline German Language Ability. Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
  • Brennan, S. E., M. W. Friedman and C. J. Pollard. 1987. A centering approach to pronouns. In C. Sinder, ed., Proceedings of the 25th annual meeting on Association for Computational Linguistics, 155-162. Stanford, CA: Association for Computational Linguistics. [https://doi.org/10.3115/981175.981197]
  • Carrell, P. L. 1984. Schema theory and ESL reading: Classroom implications and applications. The Modern Language Journal 68(4), 332-343. [https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1984.tb02509.x]
  • Carrell, P. L. 1987. Content and formal schemata in ESL reading. TESOL Quarterly 21(3), 461-481. [https://doi.org/10.2307/3586498]
  • Choi, Y. H. 1992. Co-referential forms in English narrative text. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics 5, 63-89.
  • Cohen, A. D. and T. A. Upton. 2006. Strategies in Responding to the New TOEFL Reading Tasks. (TOEFL Monograph Series No. 33). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
  • Cunnings, I., C. Patterson and C. Felser. 2015. Structural constraints on pronoun binding and coreference: Evidence from eye movements during reading. Frontiers in Psychology 6, 840. [https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00840]
  • De la Fuente, I. 2015. Putting Pronoun Resolution in Context: The Role of Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics in Pronoun Interpretation. Doctoral dissertation, Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France.
  • Demel, M. C. 1990. The relationship between overall reading comprehension and comprehension of coreferential ties for second language readers of English. TESOL Quarterly 24(2), 267-292. [https://doi.org/10.2307/3586902]
  • Duffy, S. A. and K. Rayner. 1990. Eye movements and anaphor resolution: Effects of antecedent typicality and distance. Language and Speech 33(2), 103-119. [https://doi.org/10.1177/002383099003300201]
  • Elbro, C., J. Oakhill, H. Megherbi and A. Seigneuric. 2017. Aspects of pronominal resolution as markers of reading comprehension: The role of antecedent variability. Reading & Writing 30(4), 813–827. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-016-9702-4]
  • Garrod, S. and M. Terras. 2000. The contribution of lexical and situational knowledge to resolving discourse roles: Bonding and resolution. Journal of Memory and Language 42(4), 526-544. [https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1999.2694]
  • Ge, N., J. Hale and E. Charniak. 1998. Statistical approach to anaphora resolution. In E. Charniak, ed., Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Very Large Corpora, 161-170. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: The Association for Computational Linguistics.
  • Givón, T. 1983. Topic continuity in discourse: An introduction. In T. Givón, ed., Topic Continuity in Discourse: A Quantitative Cross-language Study Vol. 3, 1-42. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.
  • Grabe, W. and F. L. Stoller. 2002. Teaching and Researching Reading. Harlow, England: Longman Pearson Education.
  • Grosz, B. J., A. K. Joshi and S. Weinstein. 1995. Centering: A framework for modeling the local coherence of discourse. Computational Linguistics 21(2), 203-225.
  • Halliday, M. A. K. and R. Hasan. 1976. Cohesion in English. London: Longman.
  • Halliday, M. A. K. and R. Hasan. 1985. Language, Context, and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-semiotic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hirst, G. 1981. Anaphora in Natural Language Understanding: A Survey. Berlin: Springer Verlag. [https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-10858-0]
  • Hobbs, J. R. 1978. Resolving pronoun references. Lingua 44(4), 311-338. [https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3841(78)90006-2]
  • Joseph, H. S. S. L., G. Bremner, S. P. Liversedge and K. Nation. 2015. Working memory, reading ability and the effects of distance and typicality on anaphor resolution in children. Journal of Cognitive Psychology 27(5), 622-639. [https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2015.1005095]
  • Kaiser, E., J. R. Runner, R. S. Sussman and M. K. Tanenhaus. 2009. Structural and semantic constraints on the resolution of pronouns and reflexives. Cognition 112(1), 55-80. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2009.03.010]
  • Kim, I. 2011. A Case Study of Comprehension-monitoring Strategy Instruction to EFL Readers Using the Think-aloud Procedures. Master’s thesis, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea.
  • Ko, W. 2013. Anaphora resolution by EFL learners: Effects of grammatical and thematic roles. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics 29(1), 1-36. [https://doi.org/10.17154/kjal.2013.03.29.1.1]
  • Lappin, S. and H. J. Leass. 1994. An algorithm for pronominal anaphora resolution. Computational Linguistics 20(4), 535-561.
  • Lee, H. J. 1989. Effect of textual cohesion on reading comprehension. English Teaching 37, 73-97.
  • MacMillan, F. 2007. The role of lexical cohesion in the assessment of EFL reading proficiency. Arizona Working Papers in SLA & Teaching 14, 75-93.
  • McDonald, J. L. and B. MacWhinney. 1995. The time course of anaphor resolution: Effects of implicit verb causality and gender. Journal of Memory and Language 34(4), 543-566. [https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1995.1025]
  • Miltsakaki, E. 2002. Towards an aposynthesis of topic continuity and intrasentential anaphora. Computational Linguistics 28(3), 319-355. [https://doi.org/10.1162/089120102760276009]
  • Mitkov, R. 1997. Factors in anaphora resolution: They are not the only things that matter: A case study based on two different approaches. In R. Mitkov and B. Boguraev, eds., Proceedings of a Workshop on Operational Factors in Practical, Robust Anaphora Resolution for Unrestricted Texts, 14-21. Madrid, Spain: Association for Computational Linguistics. [https://doi.org/10.3115/1598819.1598822]
  • Mitkov, R. 2005. The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Moon, S. 1996. A Study on Reference-inferential Ability and Strategies in Reading Comprehension: For Korean High School Students. Master’s thesis, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.
  • Nassaji, H. 2007. Schema theory and knowledge-based processes in second language reading comprehension: A need for alternative perspectives. Language Learning 57(1), 79-113. [https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00413.x]
  • Nguyen, T. Q. 2017. Factors affecting pronoun resolution by Vietnamese EFL learners. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics 33(1), 111-135. [https://doi.org/10.17154/kjal.2017.3.33.1.111]
  • Pretorius, E. J. 2005. English as a second language learner differences in anaphoric resolution: Reading to learn in the academic context. Applied Psycholinguistics 26(4), 521-539. [https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716405050289]
  • Pretorius, E. J. and R. Ribbens. 2005. Reading in a disadvantaged high school: Issues of accomplishment, assessment and accountability. South African Journal of Education 25(3), 139-147.
  • Rahman, A. and V. Ng. 2011. Coreference resolution with world knowledge. In D. Lin, ed., Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies-Volume 1, 814-824. Portland, OR: Association for Computational Linguistics.
  • Roberts, L., M. Gullberg and P. Indefrey. 2008. Online pronoun resolution in L2 discourse. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 30(3), 333-357. [https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263108080480]
  • Schramm, K. 2005. Multimedia transcription of think-aloud data on the L2 reading process. Papers in Applied Linguistic Munster, 22. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.555.1478&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
  • Seo, H.-J. and J.-A. Shin. 2016. L2 processing of English pronouns and reflexives: Evidence from eye-movements. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 16(4), 879-901. [https://doi.org/10.15738/kjell.16.4.201612.879]
  • Upton, T. A. 1997. First and second language use in reading comprehension strategies of Japanese ESL students. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language 3(1). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/2330/Upton_First_And_Second_Language.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
  • Upton, T. A. and L. Lee-Thompson. 2001. The role of the first language in the second language reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 23(4), 469-495.
  • Van Gompel, R. P. G. and A. Majid. 2004. Antecedent frequency effects during the processing of pronouns. Cognition 90(3), 255-264. [https://doi.org/10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00161-6]
  • Webber, B. L. 1980. Syntax beyond the sentence: Anaphora. In R. J. Spiro, B. C. Bruce and W. F. Brewer, eds., Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension: Perspectives from Cognitive Psychology, Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, and Education, 141-164. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Winograd, T. 1972. Understanding natural language. Cognitive Psychology 3(1), 1-191. [https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(72)90002-3]