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On the nature of the plurality inference
Penka Stateva, Sara Andreetta, Artur Stepanov, unpublished invited conference lecture

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: Plural, implicature, presupposition, sentence-picture verification task, pragmatics
Published: 07.02.2018; Views: 1852; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (71,77 KB)

Quantifiers and pragmatic enrichment
Penka Stateva, unpublished invited conference lecture

Abstract: One of the most studied scales in the literature on scalar implicatures is the quantifier scale. While the truth of 'some' is entailed by the truth of 'all', 'some' is felicitous only when 'all' is false. This opens the possibility that 'some' would be felicitous if, e.g., almost all of the objects in the restriction of the quantifier have the property ascribed by the nuclear scope. This prediction from the standard theory of quantifier interpretation clashes with native speakers’ intuitions. In Experiment 1 we report a questionnaire study on the perception of quantifier meanings in English, French, Slovenian and German which points to a cross-linguistic variation with respect to the perception of numerical bounds of the existential quantifier. In Experiment 2, using a picture choice task, we further examine whether the numerical bound differences correlate with differences in pragmatic interpretations of the quantifier 'some' in English and 'quelques' in French and interpret the results as supporting our hypothesis that 'some' and its cross-linguistic counterparts are subjected to different processes of pragmatic enrichment.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...quantifier, cross-linguistic variation, experimental pragmatics, picture choice task...
Keywords: quantifier, cross-linguistic variation, experimental pragmatics, picture choice task
Published: 15.05.2019; Views: 1392; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (337,63 KB)

Re-thinking natural language quantifiers : a novel view integrating formal semantics, pragmatics and psychometrics
Penka Stateva, invited lecture at foreign university

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: quantifier, semantics-pragmatics interface, psychometrics
Published: 15.05.2019; Views: 1426; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (473,97 KB)

Editorial: Scalar Implicatures
Anne Reboul, Penka Stateva, 2019, short scientific article

Abstract: In 1975, Grice introduced the notion of implicature, arguing that it was more appropriate to account for a class of apparent lexical ambiguities through pragmatic processes than by multiplying lexical meanings (Modified Ockham's razor: Do not multiply meanings beyond necessity; Grice, 1975). For the past 20 years, experimental approaches have superseded purely theoretical ones, with mixed results. Paradigms using verification tasks on infelicitous sentences, with rate of pragmatic answers and reaction time as measures, have generally concluded in favor of the post-Gricean views (Bott and Noveck, 2004; Noveck and Reboul, 2008). However, some recent studies discuss additional factors affecting implicature processing and have introduced new paradigms which suggest a different conclusion (Katsos and Bishop, 2011; Breheny et al., 2013; Degen and Tanenhaus, 2015; Foppolo and Marelli, 2017; Bill et al.; Jasbi et al.; Sikos et al.). In addition, current research has shown that lexical scales may play a role in the process in keeping with neo-Gricean views. This Frontiers topic is a collection of 12 contributions in experimental pragmatics focusing on different aspects of child and adult processing of implicatures, factors affecting their rate, relevance of testing paradigms, scale diversity, cross-linguistic differences, and variation in triggers.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...a collection of 12 contributions in experimental pragmatics focusing on different aspects of child and...
Keywords: scalar implicature, experimental pragmatics, neo-Gricean pragmatics, post-Gricean pragmatics, grammatical theory of implicatures
Published: 31.07.2019; Views: 1569; Downloads: 56
.pdf Fulltext (181,24 KB)

Do children derive exact meanings pragmatically? Evidence from a dual morphology language
David Barner, Longlong Wang, Dimitrios Skordos, Amanda Saksida, Jessica Sullivan, Rok Žaucer, Franc Marušič, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Number words allow us to describe exact quantities like sixty-three and (exactly) one. How do we derive exact interpretations? By some views, these words are lexically exact, and are therefore unlike other grammatical forms in language. Other theories, however, argue that numbers are not special and that their exact interpretation arises from pragmatic enrichment, rather than lexically. For example, the word one may gain its exact interpretation because the presence of the immediate successor two licenses the pragmatic inference that one implies “one, and not two”. To investigate the possible role of pragmatic enrichment in the development of exact representations, we looked outside the test case of number to grammatical morphological markers of quantity. In particular, we asked whether children can derive an exact interpretation of singular noun phrases (e.g., “a button”) when their language features an immediate “successor” that encodes sets of two. To do this, we used a series of tasks to compare English-speaking children who have only singular and plural morphology to Slovenian-speaking children who have singular and plural forms, but also dual morphology, that is used when describing sets of two. Replicating previous work, we found that English-speaking preschoolers failed to enrich their interpretation of the singular and did not treat it as exact. New to the present study, we found that 4- and 5-year-old Slovenian-speakers who comprehended the dual treated the singular form as exact, while younger Slovenian children who were still learning the dual did not, providing evidence that young children may derive exact meanings pragmatically.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...Acquisition of quantity expressions, Acquisition of exactness, Pragmatics of grammatical number, Inferences on quantity, Dual,...
Keywords: Acquisition of quantity expressions, Acquisition of exactness, Pragmatics of grammatical number, Inferences on quantity, Dual, Slovenian
Published: 13.12.2020; Views: 700; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,33 MB)

What's behind some (but not all) implicatures
Luca Surian, Francesca Panzeri, Francesca Foppolo, Greta Mazzaggio, 2018, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Several studies investigated children’s derivation of pragmatic inferences by testing different items in different languages, populations and tasks (Skordos & Papafragou, 2016). In general, pre-schoolers have difficulties in the computation of the scalar implicature (SI) related to some, while a better performance has been documented in the case of non scalar or ad hoc implicatures (AIs), even in younger kids (Horowitz, Schneider and Frank, 2017; Katsos & Bishop, 2011; Stiller, Goodman & Frank, 2015). Children’s difficulty has been accounted for by different hypotheses: children are more tolerant of pragmatic violations than adults ('tolerance account', Katsos & Bishop, 2011); children do not (always) recognize what is conversationally relevant ('relevance account', Skordos & Papafragou, 2016); children have difficulties in lexicalizing the scale and/or retrieving the lexical alternatives ('lexicalist account', Barner et al., 2011; Foppolo et al., 2012; Tieu et al., 2015). Yet, the source and nature of children’s difficulty is still unknown, as well as the interplay of different factors and their impact on different inference types.Different theoretical accounts make different predictions for SIs and AIs. In principle, no difference is expected between implicature types within a pragmatic approach (like the tolerance or the relevance accounts), provided that children’s non adult-like behavior relies in a principle of pragmatic tolerance or in a failure in accessing or recognizing relevant alternatives, that would equally affect all kinds of implicature. Under lexicalist approaches, on the other hand, a difference between AIs and SIs is expected: while in the case of AIs the alternatives depend solely on context, in SIs the set of alternatives is a feature of the language that relies on the lexical representation of scales. The crucial difference is in the access to the alternatives, which depends on a linguistic representation and a lexical retrieval mechanism in the case of scalar quantifiers, while it is purely contextually determined in the case of ad hoc scales. In our study, we compared AIs and SIs by means of a Picture Selection Task modelled after Surian & Job (1987) and Stiller, Goodman & Frank (2015). Participants had to find the target (among 4 pictures) by following instructions. The tasks included 4 implicatures of each type, interspersed with control sentences. To understand the developmental factors beyond children’s performance, children were also administered tests of cognitive and linguistic development (Raven’s Progressive Matrices; BVL for lexicon and morphosyntax; the first four tasks of Wellman & Liu 2004 to test for Theory of Mind, ToM: Diverse Desires-Diverse Beliefs-Knowledge Access-Content False Belief). We tested 141 children aged 3 to 9 (75 in kindergarten: 3;10-6;0, M = 61 months; 66 in primary school: 6;10-9;2, M=90 months). Our findings add an additional piece to the understanding of children’s failure and success with scalar inferencing. In particular, we show that younger children succeed with AIs but have difficulties with SIs. We also found a significant role of linguistic (i.e., morpho-syntactic) abilities for both type of implicatures and a contribution of ToM: KA predicts implicatures derivation, and DB seems to play a role in SIs.The overall picture is rather puzzling: focusing on pre-schoolers, their ability to derive both types of implicatures seems to depend on common mechanisms, such as morpho-syntactic skills and the ability to recognize that another person can know something only if she has access to relevant information. Nevertheless, by controlling for task effects, we confirmed that SIs are harder than AIs. This finding is not easily explained within a pragmatic approach: if children were, in general, more logical or more tolerant than adults, they would be equally so with any kind of implicature; at the same time, if they were not sensitive to informativeness or unable to recognize relevance, they would fail with all pragmatic inferences. A lexical account instead predicts that, beyond general mechanisms common to SIs and AIs, the derivation of SIs requires one further step, that takes time to be acquired or automatized, namely: the lexicalization of the relevant scales. This might be the real source of the observed difference between these types of inferences, although further research is needed to fully capture its impact on children’s performance.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: scalar implicatures, adhoc implicatures, typically developing children, experimental pragmatics
Published: 21.09.2021; Views: 95; Downloads: 3
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Tanto per intenderci. Breve introduzione alla pragmatica sperimentale.
Greta Mazzaggio, 2021, scientific monograph

Abstract: Ogni giorno, a volte senza nemmeno rendercene conto, comunichiamo alle persone attorno a noi molto più di quello che diciamo. Non veicoliamo messaggi solo attraverso le parole, ma, sorprendentemente, anche con ciò che “non diciamo”, e il contesto condiziona profondamente il messaggio. In che modo linguaggio e contesto si relazionano per risolvere le ambiguità, comprendere ciò che gli altri ci dicono implicitamente, apprezzare la metafora o l’ironia? Tutto questo sembra avvenire senza sforzo alcuno, ma è veramente così? A queste domande prova a rispondere una nuova disciplina di ricerca, la pragmatica sperimentale, la quale adotta metodologie scientifiche per studiare quanto la relazione fra parlanti e contesto sia alla base della comunicazione umana. In questo libro passeremo in rassegna molti fenomeni linguistici e pragmatici, cercando di analizzare come la ricerca possa essere d’aiuto nel capire i meccanismi che ci permettono di comunicare e cosa succede quando questi si inceppano.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...experimental pragmatics, italian, pragmatics, implicatures, presuppositions, pronouns, speech acts, gri...
Keywords: experimental pragmatics, italian, pragmatics, implicatures, presuppositions, pronouns, speech acts, gricean maxims, irony
Published: 14.09.2021; Views: 161; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,86 MB)

Ad-hoc and scalar implicatures in children with autism spectrum disorder
Luca Surian, Francesca Foppolo, Remo Job, Greta Mazzaggio, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Previous studies found that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) perform well on pragmatic inference tests that require the use of the linguistic scale . The present study extends previous research by testing two types of implicature: scalar implicatures, based on lexical scales, and ad-hoc implicatures, based on contextual scales. We tested 26 children with ASD aged 4–10 years (mean age 7.1) and 26 typically developing (TD) children – matched on chronological age and with a similar performance in non- verbal IQ and vocabulary – by means of a picture selection task for scalar and ad-hoc implica- tures. We also investigated the effect of children’s scores in standardized tests measuring non- verbal intelligence, lexical, and morphosyntactic abilities and Theory-of-Mind skills on their performance in the implicature tasks. Although more than half of the children with ASD performed above chance on both kinds of implicatures, their performance as a group was significantly lower than the performance of their TD peers. General cognitive abilities were found to affect the performance of children with ASD on both kinds of implicatures, and Theory-of-Mind reasoning skills were found to be linked to their performance on scalar, but not ad-hoc implicatures. We show that children with ASD have difficulty with both kinds of implicatures. These findings may have implications for explanatory theories of pragmatics as well as for clinical work with children with ASD.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...may have implications for explanatory theories of pragmatics as well as for clinical work with...
Keywords: experimental pragmatics, scalar implicatures, high-functioning autism, theory of mind, development
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 148; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (4,08 MB)
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On the interpretation of scalar implicatures infirst andsecond language
Greta Mazzaggio, Daniele Panizza, Luca Surian, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: We investigated the effect of presenting items in a foreign language (L2) on scalar- implicatures computation. To ensure that L2 processing was more effortful than the pro- cessing of the native language (L1), participants were late learners of L2 immersed in an L1 environment and they were presented with oral stimuli under time constraints. If scalar- implicatures computation requires cognitive effort one should !nd that people are more likely to compute scalar implicatures in L1 than in L2. In two experiments, participants were asked to perform a Sentence Evaluation Task either Italian, their native language, or in a foreign language (English or Spanish). The task included underinformative statements such as “Some dogs are animals” that, if interpreted in a pragmatic way (i.e., “Some but not all dogs are animals”) should be rejected as false. In both experiments, we found more rejections in the native language condition than in the foreign language conditions. These results provide support for models that maintain that scalar-implicature computation is effortful.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...scalar implicatures, pragmatics, default models, non-default models, second-language comprehension...
Keywords: scalar implicatures, pragmatics, default models, non-default models, second-language comprehension
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 133; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,87 MB)

Scalar and ad-hoc pragmatic inferences in children: guess which one is easier
Luca Surian, Francesca Panzeri, Greta Mazzaggio, Francesca Foppolo, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Several studies investigated preschoolers’ ability to compute scalar and ad-hoc implicatures, but only one compared children’s performance with both kinds of implicature with the same task, a picture selection task. In Experiment 1 (N = 58, age: 4;2-6;0), we first show that the truth value judgment task, traditionally employed to investigate children’s pragmatic ability, prompts a rate of pragmatic responses comparable to the picture selection task. In Experiment 2 (N = 141, age: 3;8-9;2) we used the picture selection task to compare scalar and ad-hoc implicatures and linked the ability to derive these implicatures to some cognitive and linguistic measures. We found that four- and five-year-olds children performed better on ad-hoc than on scalar implicatures. Furthermore, we found that morphosyntactic competence was associated with success in both kinds of implicatures, while performance on mental state reasoning was positively associated with success on scalar but not ad-hoc implicatures.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...acquisition of pragmatics, scalar implicatures, ad-hoc implicatures, experimental pragmatics...
Keywords: acquisition of pragmatics, scalar implicatures, ad-hoc implicatures, experimental pragmatics
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 129; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,13 MB)

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