Producing pronouns and definite noun phrases: do speakers use the addressee’s discourse model?

Kumiko Fukumura, Roger van Gompel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report two experiments that investigated the widely-held assumption that speakers use the addressee's discourse model when choosing referring expressions (e.g., Ariel, 1990; Chafe, 1994; Givón, 1983; Prince, 1985), by manipulating whether the addressee could hear the immediately preceding linguistic context. Experiment 1 showed that speakers increased pronoun use (and decreased noun phrase use) when the referent was mentioned in the immediately preceding sentence compared to when it was not, but whether or not their addressee heard that sentence had no effect, indicating that speakers used their own, privileged discourse model when choosing referring expressions. The same pattern of results was found in Experiment 2. Speakers produced more pronouns when the immediately preceding sentence mentioned the referent than when it mentioned a referential competitor, regardless of whether the sentence was shared with their addressee. Thus, we conclude that choice of referring expression is determined by the referent's accessibility in the speaker’s own discourse model rather than the addressee's.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1289-1311
Number of pages23
JournalCognitive Science
Volume36
Issue number7
Early online date1 Jun 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Fingerprint

Linguistics
discourse
experiment
Experiments
linguistics
Discourse
Noun Phrase
Definites
Pronoun
Addressee
Referring Expressions
Experiment
Referent

Keywords

  • reference production
  • pronoun
  • definite noun phrase
  • accessibility
  • discourse
  • audience design
  • common ground

Cite this

Fukumura, Kumiko ; van Gompel, Roger. / Producing pronouns and definite noun phrases : do speakers use the addressee’s discourse model?. In: Cognitive Science. 2012 ; Vol. 36, No. 7. pp. 1289-1311.
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Producing pronouns and definite noun phrases : do speakers use the addressee’s discourse model? / Fukumura, Kumiko; van Gompel, Roger.

In: Cognitive Science, Vol. 36, No. 7, 10.2012, p. 1289-1311.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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