Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-30957
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Title: Interpretation of Discourse Connectives Is Probabilistic: Evidence From the Study of But and Although
Author(s): Asr, Fatemeh Torabi
Demberg, Vera
Language: English
Title: Discourse processes : DP
Volume: 57
Issue: 4
Startpage: 376
Endpage: 399
Publisher/Platform: Taylor & Francis
Year of Publication: 2020
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: Connectives can facilitate the processing of discourse relations by helping comprehenders to infer the intended coherence relation holding between two text spans. Previous experimental studies have focused on pairs of connectives that are very different from one another to be able to compare and formalize the distinguishing effects of these particles in discourse comprehension. In this article, we compare two connectives, but and although, which overlap in terms of the relations they can signal. We demonstrate in a set of carefully controlled studies that while a connective can be a marker of several discourse relations, it can have a specific fine-grained biasing effect on linguistic inferences and that this bias can be derived (or predicted) from the connectives’ distribution of relations found in production data. The effects that we find speak to the ambiguity of discourse connectives, in general, and the different functions of but and although, in particular. These effects cannot be explained within the earlier accounts of discourse connectives, which propose that each connective has a core meaning or processing instruction. Instead, we here lay out a probabilistic account of connective meaning and interpretation, which is based on the distribution of connectives in production and is supported by our experimental findings.
DOI of the first publication: 10.1080/0163853X.2019.1700760
URL of the first publication:
Link to this record: hdl:20.500.11880/29693
ISSN: 0163-853X
Date of registration: 22-Sep-2020
Faculty: MI - Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik
Department: MI - Informatik
Professorship: MI - Prof. Dr. Vera Demberg
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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