Modeling prominence constraints for German pronouns as weighted retrieval cues
We propose an ACT-R model of processing German personal and demonstrative pronouns. The model extends existing cue-based retrieval models of sentence processing (Lewis & Vasishth, 2005; Lewis et al. 2006) and pronoun resolution (Parker & Phillips, 2017; Patil & Lago, 2021) by adding prominence constraints as weighted retrieval cues. We model data from an antecedent selection task reported in Schumacher et al. (2016). The experiment varied word orders (canonical vs. non-canonical) and verb types (active accusative vs. dative experiencer) to test the effect of varying referential prominence on antecedent preferences for personal and demonstrative pronouns. The model with weighted prominence cues captures key effects across two word orders and verb types, and demonstrates that the contrastive antecedent preferences of personal and demonstrative pronouns can be captured using weighted retrieval cues reflecting prominence constraints.