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COLT-GLiF seminar - Thursday 22 November 12:00h, Hannah Rohde

COLT-GLiF seminar - Thursday 22 November 12:00h, Hannah Rohde

Why are you telling me this? Information content and form

  • Speaker: Hannah Rohde
  • When: Thursday 22 November 12:00h
  • 52.701 (Roc Boronat)

 

Models of discourse prescribe that communication is guided by estimates of message relevance and informativity. This talk considers production and comprehension together.  I present a set of psycholinguistic studies that test how speakers make decisions about what content to convey and what forms to use and how listeners reverse engineer the speaker's intention.  One of my primary questions is about coreference and the selection of possible meanings and forms.  I use Bayes Rule to characterise this interplay between, on the one hand, speakers' choices of who to mention and what referential form to use and, on the other hand, listeners' recovery of the intended referent given a potentially ambiguous referring expression.  Choice of mention can be shown to reflect how the discourse is expected to cohere; choice of referring expression depends on the determination of what information is useful to include.  The latter choice can be shown to vary with the complexity of the context in which the referring expression will be interpreted.  Beyond reference, interlocutors likewise have biases about what messages are probable and what surface forms are typically used to realize such messages.  I present work testing possible repercussions of the inclusion of information that is wholly or partly predictable from the discourse context.  The results highlight how listeners capitalize on speakers' (appropriate) redundancy in communication.

15.11.2018

 

COLT-GLiF seminar - Thursday 22 November 12:00h, Hannah Rohde: Why are you telling me this? Information content and form

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