Resolving Temporary Referential Ambiguity Using Presupposed Content

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Abstract

We present the results of two visual-world experiments investigating whether the presupposition of ‘also’ is used to predict upcoming linguistic mate- rial during sentence comprehension. We compare predictions generated by ‘also’ to predictions from a parallel inference generated by ‘only’ (i.e., that the upcoming material will be unique). The results show that adults do use the presupposition of ‘also’ incrementally in online sentence comprehension and they can do so within 200 to 500 ms of the onset of the presuppositional trigger. Furthermore, they use it regardless of whether contextual support is explicit or implicit. On the other hand, we did not observe effects of the inference generated by ‘only’ at any point during the sentence, even though this information was used in an offline task.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationexperimental perspectives on presuppositions
Pages67-87
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Oct 2014

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Keywords

  • semantics
  • pragmatics
  • language processing
  • presuppositions

Cite this

Romoli, J. (Accepted/In press). Resolving Temporary Referential Ambiguity Using Presupposed Content. In experimental perspectives on presuppositions (pp. 67-87)