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Does the addressee matter when choosing referring expressions?
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2011 (English)In: Production of referring expressions: Bridging the gap between computational, empirical, and theoretical approaches to reference. 20 July 2011, Boston Massachusetts, 2011, 1-5 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We report an experiment in which participants first heard a context sentence and saw a picture, and then had to produce a coherent discourse by describing the action of a previously introduced referent in a target picture. They described the picture either to an addressee or in the absence of an addressee. The results showed that participants produced more pronouns and fewer repeated noun phrases when the referent was mentioned as the subject than the object in the preceding sentence and when a competitor was not mentioned in the preceding sentence than it was. These linguistic saliency effects were not affected by the presence or absence of an addressee. In contrast, the effect of visual presence of a competitor did interact with addressee presence. In the presence of an addressee, speakers produced more pronouns when there was no visually present competitor than when there was, but no such visual saliency effect occurred in the absence of an addressee. We conclude that speakers take into account the referent's visual saliency for the addressee's benefit, but the linguistic saliency effect is independent of whether the addressee is present.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 1-5 p.
Keyword [en]
reference, referring expressions, pronouns, salience, discourse production, audience design, cooperativeness
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110782OAI: diva2:865475
PRE-CogSci 2011
Available from: 2015-10-28 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2015-10-29Bibliographically approved

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Kantola, Leila
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