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Scalar diversity and second-language processing: the Pragmatic Transfer Hypothesis
Federica Longo, Bob Van Tiel, Penka Stateva, Greta Mazzaggio, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: This study investigates the impact of language proficiency on the computation of scalar implicatures (e.g., ”some” implying ”not all”) and compares the Pragmatic Default Hypoth- esis and the Pragmatic Transfer Hypothesis. Six scalar terms were studied among native English speakers, native Slovenian speakers, and Slovenian second-language (L2) learners of English. The findings mostly support the Pragmatic Transfer Hypothesis, as the rate of scalar implicatures in the English-L2 group generally aligned with rates in their native language, Slovenian. This suggests that scalar implicature judgments in one’s L2 reflect pragmatic patterns in one’s first language.
Keywords: Second Language processing, Scalar implicatures, Scalar diversity
Published in RUNG: 03.10.2023; Views: 932; Downloads: 3
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Some (but not all) implicatures gained the same attention in Experimental Pragmatics.
Greta Mazzaggio, other performed works

Keywords: scalar implicatures, pragmatics, experimental pragmatics, linguistics
Published in RUNG: 01.12.2022; Views: 1276; Downloads: 0
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On the cost of scalar implicatures : an eye-tracking study
Greta Mazzaggio, Anne Colette Reboul, Jean-Baptiste van der Henst, Anne Cheylus, Paolo Lorusso, Penka Stateva, 2022, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: scalar implicatures, experimental pragamtics, eye-tracker, quantifiers
Published in RUNG: 08.08.2022; Views: 1498; Downloads: 23
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Find a friend or a scale mate : comparing ad hoc and scalar implicatures
Francesca Foppolo, Francesca Panzeri, Greta Mazzaggio, Luca Surian, 2017, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: implicatures, scalar implicatures, quantifiers
Published in RUNG: 23.09.2021; Views: 1933; Downloads: 55
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Scalar vs Ad-Hoc implicatures : guess which one is easier
Greta Mazzaggio, 2018, unpublished conference contribution

Keywords: scalar implicatures, ad-hoc implicatures, pragmatics
Published in RUNG: 23.09.2021; Views: 1923; Downloads: 0
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The computation of some (but not all) implicatures.
Greta Mazzaggio, invited lecture at foreign university

Keywords: scalar implicatures
Published in RUNG: 22.09.2021; Views: 1860; Downloads: 0
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On the cost of scalar implicaures.
Greta Mazzaggio, invited lecture at foreign university

Keywords: scalar implicatures, cognitive cost, pragmatics, experimental pragmatics
Published in RUNG: 22.09.2021; Views: 1896; Downloads: 0
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The case of scalar implicature processing : an eye- tracking study
Greta Mazzaggio, Anne Colette Reboul, Chiara Caretta, Mélody Darblade, Jean-Baptiste van der Henst, Anne Cheylus, Penka Stateva, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Implicatures like ‘Some politicians are smart’ (interpreted as ‘Some but not all politicians are smart’) are defined scalar implicatures. A heated linguistic debate has focused on how we derive those implicatures: some authors consider the computational process as linguistic in nature (Levinson, 2000), others as pragmatic in nature (Sperber & Wilson, 1995). A growing body of research, prompted by pioneering work by Bott and Noveck (2004), focused on the computational cost related with the computation of scalar implicatures. The present study addresses such topic through the use of different experimental techniques. With Experiment 1 (N = 57) we replicated the third experiment of Bott and Noveck (2004), the first study that identified a cost related to a pragmatic response. With Experiment 2 (N = 58), using a pseudo-word paradigm, we excluded the possibility that the computational cost is due to an experimental artifact, such as an increased difficulty in moving up in the conceptual hierarchy (e.g., ‘Some elephants are mammals’) than in moving down (e.g. ‘Some mammals are elephants’). In Experiment 3 (N = 54), with a Sentence Evaluation Task, we collected reading times, reaction times and eye gaze data. Results showed that the cost of the computation disappears when there is contextual support. Overall, our results seem to support the idea that scalar implicatures are not automatically computed with context playing an important role.
Keywords: scalar implicatures, eye-tracking, experimental pragmatics, reaction times
Published in RUNG: 22.09.2021; Views: 2104; Downloads: 7
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What's behind some (but not all) implicatures
Francesca Foppolo, Greta Mazzaggio, Francesca Panzeri, Luca Surian, 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.
Keywords: scalar implicatures, adhoc implicatures, typically developing children, experimental pragmatics
Published in RUNG: 21.09.2021; Views: 2146; Downloads: 53
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