Pragmatic processing: An investigation of the (anti-)presuppositions of determiners using mouse-tracking

Autor(en): Schneider, Cosima
Schonard, Carolin
Franke, Michael 
Jaeger, Gerhard
Janczyk, Markus
Stichwörter: ACCURACY; Anti-presupposition; BIMODALITY; CONTEXT; Experimental pragmatics; Indefinite determiner; Maximize Presupposition; Mouse-tracking; PRESUPPOSITION; Psychology; Psychology, Experimental; SPEED
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Herausgeber: ELSEVIER
Enthalten in: COGNITION
Band: 193
Zusammenfassung: 
A presupposition is a condition that has to be met in order for a linguistic expression to be appropriate. The definite determiner (as in the banana) triggers the uniqueness-presupposition that there is a uniquely identifiable banana in the relevant discourse context. The indefinite determiner (as in a banana) is similarly associated with anti-uniqueness (that there are several bananas). Application of the Maximize Presupposition principle to the indefinite determiner suggests that this latter effect results indirectly as an anti-presupposition from considering the uniqueness-presupposition of the definite determiner, which is then negated. This results in increased processing difficulty. We utilized mouse-tracking to compare processing of definite and indefinite determiners when used felicitously and infelicitously in a particular context. First, processing of the indefinite determiner was associated with more processing difficulties compared with the definite determiner. Second, we also observed evidence for an initial temporary activation and evaluation of the uniqueness-presupposition, just as derived from anti-presupposition theory and the Maximize Presupposition principle.
ISSN: 00100277
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104024

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