Speaking from experience: audience design as expert performance

Gann, T. M., and Barr, D. J. (2014) Speaking from experience: audience design as expert performance. Language and Cognitive Processes, 29(6), pp. 744-760. (doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.641388)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01690965.2011.641388

Abstract

When speakers generate referential descriptions, they take their addressees? needs into account through processes of audience design. In this paper we consider audience design as a kind of expert performance, in which skilled behaviour is the result of an interplay between memory and attention. We suggest that attending to referents with a referential goal in mind results in the obligatory retrieval of previous descriptions, and that these previous descriptions are adapted to current purposes via monitoring and adjustment. In an experiment, speakers gained experience describing certain referents with a given addressee, and then later described these referents to either the same or a different addressee. When describing old referents, speakers relied on remembered descriptions, adding detail via monitoring and adjustment to meet an addressee's less-informed perspective. However, speakers were unable to elide information that was no longer relevant, resulting in a high rate of referential overspecification. These findings provide new insights into partner-adaptation, and highlight the value of theories of expertise for the study of audience design in language production.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:audience_design, language_production, perspective_taking, precedents
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barr, Dr Dale
Authors: Gann, T. M., and Barr, D. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Language and Cognitive Processes
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0169-0965
ISSN (Online):1464-0732

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