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ERIC Number: EJ1178012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Influence of Concessive and Causal Conjunctions on Pragmatic Processing: Online Measures from Eye Movements and Self-Paced Reading
Xu, Xiaodong; Chen, Qingrong; Panther, Klaus-Uwe; Wu, Yicheng
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v55 n4 p387-409 2018
This study investigates the influence of causal and concessive relations on discourse coherence in Chinese by means of eye movement and self-paced reading techniques. We use the sentential structure like "NP[subscript HUMAN] moved from place A to place B, {because ([Chinese characters omitted] yinwei) /although ([Chinese characters omitted] jinguan)/no conjunction} + pronoun (he/she) + verb (e.g., like) + there (nali)… + NP". The eye-movement data (Experiment 1) recorded from regions of interest consistently showed that the processing of concessive meaning is much slower than the processing of causal meaning, irrespective of whether the causal relation is explicitly coded through a causal marker (i.e., "yinwei" [because]) or not. In particular, although sentences containing pragmatic anomalies were processed more slowly than sentences containing no pragmatic anomalies in causal structures, there was no such distinction in concessive structures, indicating that the processing of a concessive relation can override that of a pragmatic incongruence. Moreover, although the initial place was reread more in cases of concessive structures as compared with causal structures in region 1 (e.g., place A), there was no difference between them in region 2 (e.g., place B). The results from self-paced reading (Experiment 2) showed that the difficulties observed from processing concessive compared with causal relations were not caused by the difference in pronoun resolution. These findings suggest that processing concessive meaning is cognitively more demanding than processing causal meaning, a conclusion that is also supported by a fine-grained linguistic (i.e., conceptual and pragmatic) analysis of causal and concessive relations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A