The materials consist of several series of three pictures each. On each picture, a woman is depicted who thinks of a simple action, which is depicted in a thought balloon over the woman's head. In each series, there is one picture on which she thinks of the action in the course of being performed, one picture on which she thinks of the action as already completed, and one picture on which she doubts whether the action will be performed or not. There are the following actions: - to read a letter - to write a letter - to open a can - to take a bath - to construct a table - to paint a flower - to put glasses on the table
The picture stories are designed to elicit the production of referring expressions, such as full NPs, personal pronouns and zero anaphora. The referents have different informational statuses: introduced, maintained and reintroduced. While one story contains a woman and a man, in order to have a biological gender distinction, the other story shows animated inanimates, a bike and a train, which in languages like German have a different syntactic gender (das Fahrrad, der Zug). The distance between both referents (picture 1: introduction of first referent, picture 2: maintenance of first referent, picture 3: introduction of second referent...) within a story is manipulated analogously.
Series of temporally sequenced events.