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date: 24 May 2019

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.

Keywords: constraint-based approaches, scalar implicature, online processing, context, QUD, common ground, alternatives, probabilistic pragmatics, perspective-taking, lexical precedents

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