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  Predicting conversational turns: Signers’ and non-signers’ sensitivity to language-specific and globally accessible cues

De Vos, C., Casillas, M., Uittenbogert, T., Crasborn, O., & Levinson, S. C. (2022). Predicting conversational turns: Signers’ and non-signers’ sensitivity to language-specific and globally accessible cues. Language, 98(1), 35-62. doi:10.1353/lan.2021.0085.

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DeVos_etal_2022_predicting conversational turns.pdf (Publisher version), 34MB
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De Vos, Connie1, Author           
Casillas, Marisa2, Author           
Uittenbogert, Tom3, Author
Crasborn, Onno3, Author
Levinson, Stephen C.4, 5, Author           
Affiliations:
1Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg University, Tilburg, NL, ou_persistent22              
2University of Chicago, Chicago, MI, USA, ou_persistent22              
3Center for Language Studies, External Organizations, ou_55238              
4Emeriti, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen, NL, ou_2344699              
5Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Nijmegen, NL, ou_792548              

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 Abstract: Precision turn-taking may constitute a crucial part of the human endowment for communication. If so, it should be implemented similarly across language modalities, as in signed vs. spoken language. Here in the first experimental study of turn-end prediction in sign language, we find support for the idea that signed language, like spoken language, involves turn-type prediction and turn-end anticipation. In both cases, turns eliciting specific responses like questions accelerate anticipation. We also show remarkable cross-modality predictive capacity: non-signers anticipate sign turn-ends surprisingly well. Finally, we show that despite non-signers’ ability to intuitively predict signed turn-ends, early native signers do it much better by using their access to linguistic signals (here, question markers). As shown in prior work, question formation facilitates prediction, and age of sign language acquisition affects accuracy. The study thus sheds light on the kind of features that may facilitate turn-taking universally, and those that are language-specific.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-09-132022
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1353/lan.2021.0085
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Title: Language
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 98 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 35 - 62 Identifier: ISSN: 0097-8507
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925466254