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ERIC Number: EJ834973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 40
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0285
Online Interpretation of Scalar Quantifiers: Insight into the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface
Huang, Yi Ting; Snedeker, Jesse
Cognitive Psychology, v58 n3 p376-415 May 2009
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 1 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. (Contains 10 figures and 10 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A