Speech act recognition in conversation: Experimental evidence
[S.l. : s.n.]
InMiyake, N.; et al. (ed.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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Miyake, N.; et al. (ed.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Interactional Foundations of Language; Language in Society; Psycholinguistics
Recognizing the speech acts in our interlocutors’ utterances is a crucial pre-requisite for conversation and not a trivial task given that the form and content of utterances is frequently underspecified for this level of meaning. In the present study we investigate participants’ competence in categorizing speech acts in such action-underspecific sentences and explore the time-course of speech act inferencing using a self-paced reading paradigm. The present experiment shows that listeners are able to categorize the speech acts with very high accuracy, based on limited context and without prosodic cues. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the exact same sentence is processed differently depending on the speech act it performs, with reading times starting to differ significantly already at the sentence-initial subject position. These results indicate that action recognition in conversation is a fruitful area of further research.
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