Processing Anaphoric Presupposition Triggers

Research of recent years has shown that not all presupposition triggers behave alike, including in terms of processing. A trigger category that has not received as much attention in this respect is that of anaphoric triggers like too. For my first Generals Paper at UMass, I conducted a set of experiments to test how anaphoricity may affect the processing of these triggers. In a first set, I investigated whether anaphoric triggers show a similar behavior to pronouns in terms of discourse-sensitivity, which seemed to be not the case. In a second set, I focused on the importance of syntactic and semantic parallelism of the antecedent, which has been observed by Tanenhaus & Carlson (1990) to facilitate the processing of deep anaphors even when it was not necessarily required. The results indicated that too is very flexible in finding an appropriate antecedent, thus suggesting the need for a more fine-grained view on the use that too has in discourse beyond its anaphoric presupposition.


Göbel, A., B. Dillon & L. Frazier (2018). Investigating the Parallelism Requirement of ‘too’. Poster at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA2018) @Salt Lake City, January 2018. [poster]

Göbel, A. (2017). On Processing Anaphoric Presuppositions. Talk at UPenn Experimental Lab Meeting, March 2017. [slides]