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1.
Sentence comprehension test for Russian : a tool to assess syntactic competence
Daria Chernova, Artem Novozhilov, Natalia Slioussar, 2023, review article

Abstract: Although all healthy adults have advanced syntactic processing abilities in their native language, psycholinguistic studies report extensive variation among them. However, very few tests were developed to assess this variation, presumably, because when adult native speakers focus on syntactic processing, not being distracted by other tasks, they usually reach ceiling performance. We developed a Sentence Comprehension Test for the Russian language aimed to fill this gap. The test captures variation among participants and does not show ceiling effects. The Sentence Comprehension Test includes 60 unambiguous grammatically complex sentences and 40 control sentences that are of the same length, but are syntactically simpler. Every sentence is accompanied by a comprehension question targeting potential syntactic processing problems and interpretation errors associated with them. Grammatically complex sentences were selected on the basis of the previous literature and then tested in a pilot study. As a result, six constructions that trigger the largest number of errors were identified. For these constructions, we also analyzed which ones are associated with the longest word-by-word reading times, question answering times and the highest error rates. These differences point to different sources of syntactic processing difficulties and can be relied upon in subsequent studies. We conducted two experiments to validate the final version of the test. Getting similar results in two independent experiments, as well as in two presentation modes (reading and listening modes are compared in Experiment 2) confirms its reliability. In Experiment 1, we also showed that the results of the test correlate with the scores in the verbal working memory span test.
Keywords: syntax, comprehension, Russian language, psycholinguistics
Published in RUNG: 05.04.2024; Views: 283; Downloads: 3
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2.
Sentence comprehension in indigenous heritage speakers' communities compared to mainland baseline
Sara Andreetta, Matic Pavlič, Penka Stateva, Arthur Stepanov, 2023, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: sentence comprehension, heritage speakers, bilingualism, Slovenian, Italian
Published in RUNG: 03.10.2023; Views: 661; Downloads: 7
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The atypical pattern of irony comprehension in autistic children
Francesca Panzeri, Greta Mazzaggio, Beatrice Giustolisi, Silvia Silleresi, Luca Surian, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Nonliteral language understanding has always been recognized as problematic in autistic individuals. We ran a study on 26 autistic children (mean age = 7.3 years) and 2 comparison groups of typically developing children, 1 matched for chronological age, and 1 of younger peers (mean age = 6.11 years) matched for linguistic abilities, aiming at assessing their understanding of ironic criticisms and compliments, and identifying the cognitive and linguistic factors that may underpin this ability. Autistic participants lagged behind the comparison groups in the comprehension of both types of irony, and their performance was related to mindreading and linguistic abilities. Significant correlations were found between first-order Theory of Mind (ToM) and both types of irony, between second-order ToM and ironic compliments, and between linguistic abilities and ironic criticisms. The autistic group displayed an interesting, and previously unattested in the literature, bimodal distribution: the great majority of them (n = 18) displayed a very poor performance in irony understanding, whereas some (n = 6) were at ceiling. We discuss these results in terms of two different profiles of autistic children.
Keywords: irony, autism spectrum disorder, experimental pragmatics, theory of mind, irony comprehension
Published in RUNG: 05.05.2022; Views: 1434; Downloads: 0
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5.
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.
Keywords: scalar implicatures, pragmatics, default models, non-default models, second-language comprehension
Published in RUNG: 17.09.2021; Views: 1929; Downloads: 0
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6.
Scalar Implicatures
scientific monograph

Abstract: Scalar implicatures have enjoyed the status of one of the most researched topics in both theoretical and experimental pragmatics in recent years. This Research Topic presents new developments in studying the comprehension, as well as the production of scalar inferences, suggests new testing paradigms that trigger important discussions about the methodology of experimental investigation, explores the effect of prosody and context on inference rates. To a great extent the articles reflect the state of the art in the domain and outline promising paths for future research.
Keywords: Scalar implicature, Lexical scales, Scalar variability, Cross-linguistic variation, Production, Comprehension, Prosody, Context
Published in RUNG: 06.11.2019; Views: 3152; Downloads: 116
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7.
The effect of bilingualism on the processing of scalar implicatures
Penka Stateva, Sara Andreetta, Ludivine Dupuy, Anne Cheylus, Viviane Déprez, Jean-Baptiste van der Henst, Jacques Jayez, Arthur Stepanov, Anne Reboul, 2016, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Scalar implicatures have been extensively investigated in the experimental literature, but almost exclusively in monolingual speakers. Very little research has been conducted on the pragmatic abilities of multilingual populations, including early bilinguals to L2 learners, a gap the current study aims to remedy.
Keywords: L2 learning and early bilingualism, comprehension of scalar implicatures
Published in RUNG: 22.04.2016; Views: 4921; Downloads: 0
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