- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- Copyright Page
- List of figures and tables
- List of abbreviations
- The contributors
- Language Comprehension, Inference, and Alternatives
- Constraint-Based Pragmatic Processing
- Scalar Implicatures
- Event (De)composition
- Presuppositions, Projection, and Accommodation
- Spatial Terms
- Modified Numerals
- Quantifier Spreading
- Adjective Meaning and Scales
- Ironic Utterances
- Verbal Uncertainty
- Word Senses
- Antecedent-Contained Deletion
- Exhaustivity in <i>It</i>-Clefts
- Negative Polarity Items
- Reference and Informativeness
- Prosody and Meaning
- Theory of Mind
- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
Abstract and Keywords
Processing language requires integrating information from multiple sources, including context, world knowledge, and the linguistic signal itself. How is this information integrated? A range of positions on the issue is possible, spanned by two extreme positions: extreme informational privilege—certain types of information are processed earlier in online processing and weighted most heavily in the resulting utterance interpretation; and extreme parallelism—all information is processed in parallel and weighted equally in the resulting interpretation. In reviewing the current empirical landscape on scalar implicature processing, the chapter argues for a constraint-based approach to pragmatic processing, which is closer in spirit to the parallelism account than the informational privilege account. The approach is also extended to other pragmatic phenomena.
Judith Degen is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University. Trained as a cognitive scientist at the University of Rochester and Stanford University, Judith is interested in the inference processes involved in language production and comprehension—how do speakers choose an utterance to convey an intended meaning? How do listeners arrive at interpretations that are often much richer and more detailed than the literal meaning provided by a sentence? She employs a combination of linguistic analysis, behavioural methods, corpus methods, and computational models to develop explicit theories of these processes and test them against behavioural data.
Michael K. Tanenhaus is the Beverly Petterson Bishop and Charles W. Bishop Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and Chair Professor, School of Psychology at Nanjing Normal University. His research has focused on real-time language processing, including issues in experimental semantics and pragmatics. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Tanenhaus’ research demonstrated that syntactic ambiguity resolution involves rapid integration of probabilistic constraints, including rich lexical representatio+D8ns, results that help form the foundation of current probabilistic approaches. In 1995, Tanenhaus and his students pioneered use of a paradigm—which they dubbed the visual world paradigm—in which eye movements are monitored as participants perform actions as they follow spoken instructions or collaborate with interlocutors in collaborative tasks using natural language. This made it possible to study real-time spoken language processing at a fine temporal grain in natural tasks in rich contexts.
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