Referential precedents in spoken language comprehension: a review and meta-analysis

Kronmüller, E. and Barr, D. J. (2015) Referential precedents in spoken language comprehension: a review and meta-analysis. Journal of Memory and Language, 83, pp. 1-19. (doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2015.03.008)

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Listeners’ interpretations of referring expressions are influenced by referential precedents—temporary conventions established in a discourse that associate linguistic expressions with referents. A number of psycholinguistic studies have investigated how much precedent effects depend on beliefs about the speaker’s perspective versus more egocentric, domain-general processes. We review and provide a meta-analysis of visual-world eyetracking studies of precedent use, focusing on three principal effects: (1) a same speaker advantage for maintained precedents; (2) a different speaker advantage for broken precedents; and (3) an overall main effect of precedents. Despite inconsistent claims in the literature, our combined analysis reveals surprisingly consistent evidence supporting the existence of all three effects, but with different temporal profiles. These findings carry important implications for existing theoretical explanations of precedent use, and challenge explanations based solely on the use of information about speakers’ perspectives.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barr, Dr Dale
Authors: Kronmüller, E., and Barr, D. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Journal of Memory and Language
ISSN (Online):1096-0821
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
First Published:First published in Journal of Memory and Language 83:1-19
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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