Anke Holler, Thomas Weskott
Implizite Verbkausalität im Korpus? – Eine Fallstudie
Abstract Experimental psycholinguists have studied the so-called implicit causality bias for more than forty years and have mostly attributed it to an effect of argument structure of a certain class of interpersonal verbs on subsequent anaphor resolution; most accounts attribute this effect to differences in salience between the arguments of the respective verbs. This article reports a corpus study on passive sentences for two classes of implicit causality verbs and puts the salience hypothesis to test. By tracing the implicit causality bias in corpora and taking into consideration a wider variety of contexts than usually employed in experiments, we want to scrutinize the ecological validity of the experimental results. From a more general point of view, the aim of the article is to exemplify how results from different methodological approaches, i.e. experiments and corpus search, can be brought to bear on our understanding of a grammatical phenomenon.
Keywords Implicit causality bias, psych verbs, ecological validity, passives