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A diminished propensityto compute scalar implicaturesis linked to autistic traits
Greta Mazzaggio, Luca Surian, 2018, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: We investigated whether there is an association between autistic traits in the broader pheno- type and the ability to compute scalar implicatures. Previous studies found that the frequency of autistic traits is higher in students of science than of humanities. Here we recorded the frequency of rejection of underinformative scalar items in students enrolled either in a science or in a humanities curriculum and assessed their autistic traits using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient questionnaire. We found that rejec- tions were less frequent in science curricula students than in humanities curricula students. Moreover, rejections were associated negatively with autistic traits and positively with performance on Theory- of-Mind tasks. These findings suggest that autism cognitive phenotype is negatively associated with a propensity to spontaneously derive scalar implicatures.
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Ključne besede: scalar implicatures, quantifiers, Autism-spectrum Quotient, pragmatics, theory of mind
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 218; Prenosov: 0
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Echolalia as a communicative strategy
Greta Mazzaggio, 2019, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Echolalia – immediate or delayed – is the stereotyped and mechanical repetition of words and phrases produced by others. Experts used to view echolalia as a defect to eliminate; however, current research has shown that often imitation may serve a purpose for children with linguistic deficits. This study’s goal is to assess whether echolalia has communicative value; such purpose is achieved through the analysis of spontaneous speech and delayed echoes uttered by a 13- years-old boy officially diagnosed with Kleefstra Syndrome. Since there are no linguistic studies yet regarding this syndrome, this study may shed new light on a specific linguistic strategy that people with this syndrome might use. Based on the functional categories described by Prizant (1983), we analyzed the echolalic speech produced by this teen with the aim of demonstrating the pragmatic value behind those repetitions.
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Ključne besede: communication, delayed echolalia, immediate echolalia, Kleefstra-Syndrome
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 206; Prenosov: 9
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La citazione meccanica
Greta Mazzaggio, 2019, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: For some people quoting is the only way to communicate. In some pathologies, the difficulty in creating declarative clauses can be partially overcome through alternative strategies such as the mechanical and stereotyped repetition of words or sentences spoken by another person. In the past, this phenomenon – known as echolalia – was considered as a deficiency to be corrected. This article explores the debate over the communicative value of echolalia, drawing upon some studies which have demonstrated how imitation can play an essential role in the communication of children with language disorders.
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Ključne besede: echolalia, immediate echolalia, delayed echolalia, citation, italian
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 212; Prenosov: 19
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On the interpretation of scalar implicatures infirst andsecond language
Greta Mazzaggio, Daniele Panizza, Luca Surian, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: 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.
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Ključne besede: scalar implicatures, pragmatics, default models, non-default models, second-language comprehension
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 210; Prenosov: 0
.pdf Polno besedilo (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, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: 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.
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Ključne besede: acquisition of pragmatics, scalar implicatures, ad-hoc implicatures, experimental pragmatics
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 212; Prenosov: 0
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The production of pronouns and verb inflections by Italian children with ASD
Aaron Shield, Greta Mazzaggio, 2020, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: The language of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often characterized by difficulties with pronouns. The underlying reasons for such difficulties are still unclear. This study is the first to test the abilities of children with ASD who speak Italian, a language in which overt subject pronouns are optional but verbs obligatorily feature person-referencing morphology. We found that Italian children with ASD were less accurate than typically-developing (TD) Italian children in the production of first-, second-, and third-person singular pronouns, avoiding pronouns in favor of nouns or names more often than controls. Moreover, children with ASD produced more overt pronouns than null pronouns in marked contexts, compared to TD children. These phenomena can be accounted for by difficulties with pragmatics.
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Ključne besede: autism, autism spectrum disorder, pronoun production, pronoun avoidance, language development
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 216; Prenosov: 6
.pdf Polno besedilo (274,05 KB)
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Ad-hoc and scalar implicatures in children with autism spectrum disorder
Luca Surian, Francesca Foppolo, Remo Job, Greta Mazzaggio, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: 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.
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Ključne besede: experimental pragmatics, scalar implicatures, high-functioning autism, theory of mind, development
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 239; Prenosov: 0
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Pseudopartitives vs. agreement attraction
M. Rita Manzini, Greta Mazzaggio, Ludovico Franco, 2020, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Pseudopartitive constructions are constructions of the form DP-of-NP, where the quantificational, collective or container DP head is interpreted as measuring the embedded NP. A verb can agree either with the head (Head Agreement) or with the embedded NP (Embedded Agreement). We argue that agreement alternations with pseudopartitives form part of lin- guistic competence. Specifically, we account for them in terms of a dual la- belling option open to of -DP/NP constituents, as either PPs (of projecting) or as NPs (of not projecting). Thus, we reject the conclusion that pseudopar- titives are to be accounted for in processing terms, and wholly subsumed un- der agreement attraction. In two studies, we investigate subject-verb num- ber agreement (Study 1, N = 103) and gender agreement (Study 2, N = 87), in an acceptability task with pseudopartitive constructions involving either a collective noun or an approximate quantifier, controlling for the nature of the head. Results show that Italian pseudopartitives allows embedded agree- ment, depending on the speaker and on the nature of the head (quantifiers better than collective Ns).
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Ključne besede: pseudopartitives, agreement, number, gender, agreement at- traction
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 175; Prenosov: 0
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Teoria e forme del testo digitale
2019, znanstvena monografija

Opis: L’avvento del mezzo digitale ha profondamente trasformato tanto le dinamiche di produzione e diffusione del testo letterario, quanto la relativa prassi editoriale. Nonostante ciò, le questioni di fondo che pone la filologia conservano tutta la loro importanza: la volontà d’autore, la conservazione dei documenti, le modalità di pubblicazione sono sempre al centro di un dibattito che si è rivelato particolarmente vivace Oltreoceano. Il volume, che raccoglie saggi pubblicati dagli autori più influenti in materia, introduce alle principali questioni poste dalle varie forme della testualità digitale e dalla circolazione dei testi letterari nel mondo attuale. La digitalizzazione di massa, le nuove dinamiche di lettura, l’obsolescenza dei supporti digitali e le nuove forme di didattica e ricerca collaborativa sono solo alcuni dei temi qui affrontati.
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Ključne besede: textual scholarship, digitalization, text, philology
Objavljeno: 17.09.2021; Ogledov: 162; Prenosov: 0
.pdf Polno besedilo (4,93 MB)

What's behind some (but not all) implicatures
Luca Surian, Francesca Panzeri, Francesca Foppolo, Greta Mazzaggio, 2018, objavljeni povzetek znanstvenega prispevka na konferenci

Opis: 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.
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Ključne besede: scalar implicatures, adhoc implicatures, typically developing children, experimental pragmatics
Objavljeno: 21.09.2021; Ogledov: 173; Prenosov: 6
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