Speakers use their own discourse model to determine referents' accessibility during the production of referring expressions.

Kumiko Fukumura, Roger van Gompel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

Abstract

We report two experiments that investigated the widely-held assumption that speakers use the addressee's discourse model when choosing referring expressions, by manipulating whether the addressee could hear the immediately preceding linguistic context. Experiment 1 showed that speakers increased pronoun use (relative to definite NPs) when the referent was mentioned in the immediately preceding sentence compared to when it was not, but whether their addressee heard that the referent was mentioned had no effect, indicating that speakers use their own, privileged discourse model when choosing referring expressions. The same pattern of results was found in Experiment 2. Speakers produced fewer pronouns when the immediately preceding sentence mentioned a referential competitor than when it mentioned the referent, but this effect did not differ depending on 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
Title of host publicationProceedings of the PRE-CogSci 2009 Workshop
Pages1-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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discourse
experiment
linguistics

Keywords

  • reference production
  • accessibility
  • pronoun

Cite this

Fukumura, K., & van Gompel, R. (2009). Speakers use their own discourse model to determine referents' accessibility during the production of referring expressions. In Proceedings of the PRE-CogSci 2009 Workshop (pp. 1-6)
Fukumura, Kumiko ; van Gompel, Roger. / Speakers use their own discourse model to determine referents' accessibility during the production of referring expressions. Proceedings of the PRE-CogSci 2009 Workshop. 2009. pp. 1-6
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abstract = "We report two experiments that investigated the widely-held assumption that speakers use the addressee's discourse model when choosing referring expressions, by manipulating whether the addressee could hear the immediately preceding linguistic context. Experiment 1 showed that speakers increased pronoun use (relative to definite NPs) when the referent was mentioned in the immediately preceding sentence compared to when it was not, but whether their addressee heard that the referent was mentioned had no effect, indicating that speakers use their own, privileged discourse model when choosing referring expressions. The same pattern of results was found in Experiment 2. Speakers produced fewer pronouns when the immediately preceding sentence mentioned a referential competitor than when it mentioned the referent, but this effect did not differ depending on 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.",
keywords = "reference production, accessibility, pronoun",
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note = "Ariel, M. (1990). Accessing noun-phrase antecedents. London: Routledge. Almor, A. (1999). Noun-phrase anaphora and focus: The informational load hypothesis. Psychological Review, 106(4), 748-765. Arnold, J. E. (2001). The effect of thematic roles on pronoun use and frequency of reference continuation. Discourse Processes, 31(2), 137-162. Brown, P., & Dell, G. (1987). Adapting production to comprehension: the explicit mention of instruments. Cognitive Psychology, 19(4), 441-472. Chafe, W. L. (1994). Discourse, consciousness, and time. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Clark, H. H. (1996). Using language. Cambridge: CUP. Clark, H. H., & Marshall, C. R. (1981). Definite reference and mutual knowledge. In A. K. Joshi, B. L. Webber, & I. A. Sag (Eds.), Elements of discourse understanding. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Forster, K. I., & Forster, J. C. (2003). DMDX: A windows display program with millisecond accuracy. Behavior Research Methods Instruments & Computers, 35(1), 116-124. Giv{\'o}n, T. (1983). Topic continuity in discourse: An introduction. In T. Giv{\'o}n (Ed.), Topic continuity in discourse: A quantitative cross-language study. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Horton, W. S., & Keysar, B. (1996). When do speakers take into account common ground? Cognition, 59(1), 91-117. Nadig, A. S., & Sedivy, J. C. (2002). Evidence of perspective-taking constraints in children's on-line reference resolution. Psychological Science, 13(4), 329-336. Pickering, M. J., & Garrod, S. (2004). Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27(2), 169-226. Pollatsek, A., & Well, A. D. (1995). On the use of counterbalanced designs in cognitive research - a suggestion for a better and more powerful analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 21(3), 785-794. Prince, E. F. (1985). Fancy syntax and shared knowledge. Journal of Pragmatics, 9(1), 65-81. Stevenson, R. J., Crawley, R. A., & Kleinman, D. (1994). Thematic roles, focus and the representation of events. Language and Cognitive Processes, 9(4), 519-548. Winer, B. (1971). Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co",
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Fukumura, K & van Gompel, R 2009, Speakers use their own discourse model to determine referents' accessibility during the production of referring expressions. in Proceedings of the PRE-CogSci 2009 Workshop. pp. 1-6.

Speakers use their own discourse model to determine referents' accessibility during the production of referring expressions. / Fukumura, Kumiko; van Gompel, Roger.

Proceedings of the PRE-CogSci 2009 Workshop. 2009. p. 1-6.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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Fukumura K, van Gompel R. Speakers use their own discourse model to determine referents' accessibility during the production of referring expressions. In Proceedings of the PRE-CogSci 2009 Workshop. 2009. p. 1-6