Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-38648
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Title: Limits to the Rational Production of Discourse Connectives
Author(s): Yung, Frances Pikyu
Jungbluth, Jana
Demberg, Vera
Language: English
Title: Frontiers in psychology
Volume: 12
Pages: 1-20
Publisher/Platform: Frontiers
Year of Publication: 2021
Free key words: rational speech act model
discourse processing
discourse connectives
experimental pragmatics
crowdsourcing experiment
DDC notations: 400 Language, linguistics
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: Rational accounts of language use such as the uniform information density hypothesis, which asserts that speakers distribute information uniformly across their utterances, and the rational speech act (RSA) model, which suggests that speakers optimize the formulation of their message by reasoning about what the comprehender would understand, have been hypothesized to account for a wide range of language use phenomena. We here specifically focus on the production of discourse connectives. While there is some prior work indicating that discourse connective production may be governed by RSA, that work uses a strongly gamified experimental setting. In this study, we aim to explore whether speakers reason about the interpretation of their conversational partner also in more realistic settings. We thereby systematically vary the task setup to tease apart effects of task instructions and effects of the speaker explicitly seeing the interpretation alternatives for the listener. Our results show that the RSA-predicted effect of connective choice based on reasoning about the listener is only found in the original setting where explicit interpretation alternatives of the listener are available for the speaker. The effect disappears when the speaker has to reason about listener interpretations. We furthermore find that rational effects are amplified by the gamified task setting, indicating that meta-reasoning about the specific task may play an important role and potentially limit the generalizability of the found effects to more naturalistic every-day language use.
DOI of the first publication: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660730
URL of the first publication:
Link to this record: urn:nbn:de:bsz:291--ds-386486
ISSN: 1664-1078
Date of registration: 3-Jan-2023
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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