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Linguistic expectation management in online discourse processing: An investigation of Dutch inderdaad 'indeed' and eigenlijk 'actually'

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Van Bergen,  Geertje
Neurobiology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Bosker,  Hans R.
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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VanBergen_Bosker_2018.pdf
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Citation

Van Bergen, G., & Bosker, H. R. (2018). Linguistic expectation management in online discourse processing: An investigation of Dutch inderdaad 'indeed' and eigenlijk 'actually'. Journal of Memory and Language, 103, 191-209. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2018.08.004.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-0FEF-2
Abstract
Interpersonal discourse particles (DPs), such as Dutch inderdaad (≈‘indeed’) and eigenlijk (≈‘actually’) are highly frequent in everyday conversational interaction. Despite extensive theoretical descriptions of their polyfunctionality, little is known about how they are used by language comprehenders. In two visual world eye-tracking experiments involving an online dialogue completion task, we asked to what extent inderdaad, confirming an inferred expectation, and eigenlijk, contrasting with an inferred expectation, influence real-time understanding of dialogues. Answers in the dialogues contained a DP or a control adverb, and a critical discourse referent was replaced by a beep; participants chose the most likely dialogue completion by clicking on one of four referents in a display. Results show that listeners make rapid and fine-grained situation-specific inferences about the use of DPs, modulating their expectations about how the dialogue will unfold. Findings further specify and constrain theories about the conversation-managing function and polyfunctionality of DPs.