Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Processing and Acquisition of Reference$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Edward A. Gibson and Neal J. Pearlmutter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015127

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015127.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use (for details see http://www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 11 December 2017

The Effect of Speaker-Specific Information on Pragmatic Inferences

The Effect of Speaker-Specific Information on Pragmatic Inferences

Chapter:
(p.239) 10 The Effect of Speaker-Specific Information on Pragmatic Inferences
Source:
The Processing and Acquisition of Reference
Author(s):

Daniel Grodner

Julie C. Sedivy

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015127.003.0010

Utterances can convey more information than they explicitly encode, and speakers exploit communicative conventions in order to say more with less. However, the burden this places on perceivers is not well understood. This chapter examines the effect of speaker-specific information on pragmatic inferences using data from an experiment which investigated the time course of the use of pragmatic information in language comprehension. Previous evidence suggests that comprehenders who encounter a referential form, including a modifier that commonly indicates contrastiveness, assume that the referential form is being used contrastively. Thus, they consequently look to the relevant object in the scene very early when processing the referential expression. In this case, people appear to be implicitly following H. P. Grice’s maxim of quantity. This chapter demonstrates that comprehenders stop using contrastive information early in resolving reference when speakers consistently do not use contrastive elements appropriately, consistent with a pragmatic explanation of referential contrast effects.

Keywords:   speakers, pragmatic inferences, language comprehension, contrastiveness, H. P. Grice, contrastive information, reference, contrast

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.