Interaction Effect of Gender Information in Pronouns and Names on Pronoun Resolution for Young Chinese Readers
The Chinese equivalent of the third-person singular pronoun “he” can refer to males or females, whereas the equivalent of “she” is clearly marked as feminine. Considering that the learning development for the grammar and usage of these two pronouns varies among young learners in Taiwan, the present study examined the influence of gender information on pronoun resolution for young Chinese learners. In addition, because the gender information contained in a personal name may affect reading comprehension, names with masculine and feminine features were used to devise the sentences used in the experiment. The effects of personal names (masculine/ feminine) and gender semantic features of pronouns (he/she) on pronoun resolution were examined for 31 fourth-graders and 25 sixth-graders. A three-way mixed-design ANOVA model was employed to investigate the interaction effect of grade × personal name × pronoun. The experimental results revealed two-way interaction effects for the sixth-graders; shorter reading times were observed for sentences with the pronoun “she” than for sentences with “he” when the gender information in the personal names was distinguishable. By contrast, two-way interactions and main effects were not observed in the primary factors of the fourth-graders. Accordingly, a valid association of gender information with pronoun resolution could not be deduced when applied from Indo- European languages to Chinese. The findings of this study may serve as a reference for teaching pronoun resolution and developing textbooks and reading materials for young Chinese learners.
|關鍵詞||一般人稱代名詞、代名詞推論、自我控制閱讀速度作業、性別訊息、性別語義特徵、generic pronoun、pronoun resolution、self-paced reading task、gender information、gender semantic feature|