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The Targeting System of Language$
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Leonard Talmy

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036979

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036979.001.0001

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Cue Conflict and Its Resolution

Cue Conflict and Its Resolution

(p.555) 14 Cue Conflict and Its Resolution
The Targeting System of Language

Leonard Talmy

The MIT Press

Elsewhere in this book, the cues of a speaker’s communication in the speech-external domain are all compatible with each other. But such cues can also partly conflict in a well-formed pattern of constructive discrepancy, which is designed to prompt the hearer to resolve the conflict and form a coherent conceptual complex. A hearer processes a conflicted communication of this sort by putting it through an assessment and a resolution phase. In the assessment phase, the hearer first uses a consistency-checking operation to determine that the communication is indeed conflicted. This operation rests on a plausibility principle and a noncontradiction principle. If the communication is determined to be conflicted, he puts it through a clustering operation that segregates its cues into two clusters that are each internally compatible but that are incompatible with each other. He then puts these two clusters through an evaluation operation that assigns opposite states of validity to them. It designates the cues of one cluster and the target they indicate as valid, while designating the cues of the other cluster and the target they indicate as anomalous. This operation rests on a greater benefit principle and a priority principle.

Keywords:   cue conflict, conflict resolution, initial and final target, plausibility principle, mapping

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