DISCOURSE EXPECTATIONS: THEORETICAL, EXPERIMENTAL, AND COMPUTATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

Invited speakers: Arnout Koornneef, Hannah Rohde, and Roger van Gompel

Studies on discourse processing suggest that natural language interpretation is expectation-driven. World knowledge and discourse context are used immediately to anticipate how discourse is likely to continue. Although there is ample evidence demonstrating such forward-looking processes both within single sentences and in larger discourse, we still lack a unified account of its foundation; i.e. the extent to which linguistic and extralinguistic factors influence expectations and whether these are driven by linguistic or language-external factors. The workshop contributes to the understanding of discourse expectations by bringing together linguists, psycholinguists, cognitive scientists and computational linguists working on discourse processing.

We encourage submissions of theoretical, experimental and computational studies on the following aspects, and topics related to these:

  • What is the nature of expectations in discourse? Do they pertain only to discourse or anaphoric relations? How specific are expectations? Are they abstract objects or particulars?
  • How do expectations emerge? Are they triggered locally, e.g. by lexical items, or are they determined globally by more general properties of discourse, such as the discourse topic/Question under Discussion (QuD)? How do local and global expectations interact?

The phenomenon of implicit causality may serve as a particularly illustrative example: In psycholinguistic and linguistic research, it has been shown that certain transitive verbs with two animate arguments trigger expectations of explanations of a particular type. Thus, while the experiencer-object verb “fascinate” triggers explanations about the subject (“John fascinates Mary because HE…”), the experiencer-subject verb “admire” triggers explanations about the object (“John admires Mary because SHE…”). This phenomenon has been exploited in psycholinguistic experiments to investigate the time course of semantic and/or pragmatic interpretation, often with clear demonstrations of the emergence of early effects in discourse comprehension that appear shortly after the verb has been processed. However, further theoretically oriented investigations may benefit our understanding of the nature of these effects as well as their modeling.

Invited speakers and titles

  • Arnout W. Koornneef (Utrecht University): Individual differences and the use of implicit causality as a pronoun resolution cue during reading
  • Hannah Rohde (University of Edinburgh): What to do when a linguist says she’s expecting: Coherence and coreference expectations in sentence processing
  • Roger van Gompel (University of Dundee): Producing reference: Psycholinguistic and computational perspectives

Important Dates

Submissions are closed
Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2013
Workshop dates: June 20-21 (Thursday-Friday), 2013

Programme committee

Nicholas Asher (CNRS & University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse)
Nadine Bade (University of Tübingen)
Berry Claus (Humboldt University Berlin)
Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen (University of Oslo)
Alan Garnham (University of Sussex)
Fritz Hamm (University of Tübingen)
Joshua Hartshorne (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Barbara Hemforth (CNRS & University Paris Diderot)
Robin Hörnig (University of Tübingen)
Katja Jasinskaja (Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin)
Elsi Kaiser (University of Southern California, Los Angeles)
Yuki Kamide (University of Dundee)
Hans Kamp (University of Texas, Austin & University of Stuttgart)
Elena Karagjosova (University of Stuttgart)
Barbara Kaup (University of Tübingen)
Arnout Koornneef (Utrecht University)
Detmar Meurers (University of Tübingen)
Janina Radó (University of Tübingen)
Arndt Riester (University of Stuttgart)
Hannah Rohde (University of Edinburgh)
Antje Rossdeutscher (University of Stuttgart)
Ted Sanders (Utrecht University)
Patrick Sturt (University of Edinburgh)
Roger van Gompel (University of Dundee)
Yannick Versley (University of Tübingen)
Henk Zeevat (University of Amsterdam)

Workshop organizers

Oliver Bott (SFB 833, University of Tübingen)
Juhani Järvikivi (University of Alberta, Edmonton)
Anna Pryslopska (SFB 833, University of Tübingen)
Pirita Pyykkönen-Klauck (NTNU, Trondheim & Saarland University, Saarbrücken)
Torgrim Solstad (NTNU, Trondheim)

Funding

This workshop is financially supported by the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 833 “The construction of meaning – the dynamics and adaptivity of linguistic structures” at the University of Tübingen. The support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) is also gratefully acknowledged.

Contact

You may contact us by sending us an e-mail.

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