Online Interpretation of Scalar Quantifiers: Insight into the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

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Online Interpretation of Scalar Quantifiers: Insight into the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

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Title: Online Interpretation of Scalar Quantifiers: Insight into the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface
Author: Snedeker, Jesse; Huang, Yi Ting

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Huang, Yi Ting, and Jesse Snedeker. 2009. Online interpretation of scalar quantifiers: Insight into the semantics-pragmatics interface. Cognitive Psychology 58, no. 3: 376-415.
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Abstract: Scalar implicature has served as a test case for exploring the relations between semantic and pragmatic processes during language comprehension. Most studies have used reaction time methods and the results have been variable. In these studies, we use the visual-world paradigm to investigate implicature. We recorded participants' eye movements during commands like "Point to the girl that has some of the socks" in the presence of a display in which one girl had two of four socks and another had three of three soccer balls. These utterances contained an initial period of ambiguity in which the semantics of some was compatible with both characters. This ambiguity could be immediately resolved by a pragmatic implicature which would restrict some to a proper subset. Instead in Experiments I and 2, we found that participants were substantially delayed, suggesting a lag between semantic and pragmatic processing. In Experiment 3, we examined interpretations of some when competitors were inconsistent with the semantics (girl with socks vs. girl with no socks). We found quick resolution of the target, suggesting that previous delays were specifically linked to pragmatic analysis.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2008.09.001
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3210515

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6898]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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