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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a combined overview of theoretical and psycholinguistic approaches to causality in language. The chapter’s main phenomenological focus is on causal relations as expressed intra-clausally by verbs (e.g., break, open) and between sentences by discourse markers (e.g., because, therefore). Special attention is given to implicit causality verbs that are argued to trigger expectations of explanations to occur in subsequent discourse. The chapter also discusses linguistic expressions that do not encode causation as such, but that seem to be dependent on a causal model for their adequate evaluation, such as counterfactual conditionals. The discussion of the phenomena is complemented by an overview of important aspects of their cognitive processing as revealed by psycholinguistic experimentation.

Keywords: causality, language, causative verbs, discourse, implicit causality, psycholinguistics

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