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ERIC Number: EJ950438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Saying "that" in Dialogue: The Influence of Accessibility and Social Factors on Syntactic Production
Ferreira, Victor S.; Hudson, Melanie
Language and Cognitive Processes, v26 n10 p1736-1762 2011
Previous evidence suggests that when speakers produce sentences from memory or as picture descriptions, their choices of sentence structure are influenced by how easy it is to retrieve sentence material (accessibility). Three experiments assessed whether this pattern holds in naturalistic, interactive dialogue. Pairs of speakers took turns asking each other questions, the responses to which allowed mention of an optional "that" before either repeated (accessible) or unrepeated (inaccessible) material. Speakers' "that" mention was not sensitive to the repetition (accessibility) manipulation. Instead, "that" mention was sensitive to social factors: speakers said "that" more when adopting another's perspective rather than one's own, and tended to say "that" more when attributing emotions to oneself rather than another. A fourth experiment confirmed that in a memory task, the original pattern is observed. These results suggest that "that" mention is sensitive to the cognitive forces that operate within a production task; in dialogue settings, social factors were especially influential. (Contains 5 figures and 1 table.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California