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ERIC Number: EJ947916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0749-596X
The Role of Non-Actuality Implicatures in Processing Elided Constituents
Grant, Margaret; Clifton, Charles, Jr.; Frazier, Lyn
Journal of Memory and Language, v66 n1 p326-343 Jan 2012
When an elided constituent and its antecedent do not match syntactically, the presence of a word implying the non-actuality of the state of affairs described in the antecedent seems to improve the example. ("This information should be released but Gorbachev didn't." vs. "This information was released but Gorbachev didn't.") We model this effect in terms of Non-Actuality Implicatures (NAIs) conveyed by non-epistemic modals like "should" and other words such as "want to" and "be eager to" that imply non-actuality. We report three studies. A rating and interpretation study showed that such implicatures are drawn and that they improve the acceptability of mismatch ellipsis examples. An interpretation study showed that adding a NAI trigger to ambiguous examples increases the likelihood of choosing an antecedent from the NAI clause. An eye movement study shows that a NAI trigger also speeds on-line reading of the ellipsis clause. By introducing alternatives (the desired state of affairs vs. the actual state of affairs), the NAI trigger introduces a potential Question Under Discussion (QUD). Processing an ellipsis clause is easier, the processor is more confident of its analysis, when the ellipsis clause comments on the QUD. (Contains 3 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