"Aha, the small mouse is being tracked!": a mouse-tracking study on the processing of referential expressions in narrative discourse

Vogels, J. (Speaker), Bimpikou, S. (Speaker), Owen Kapelle (Speaker), Maier, E. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic event Academic

Description

Previous research has suggested that when interpreting referential expressions in conversation, listeners first rely on their own perspective before taking their interlocutor’s knowledge into account (a.o., Keysar et al., 2000). Others have stressed that any type of contextual cue can affect referential processing from the beginning (e.g. Brennan & Hanna, 2009). We present a web-based mouse-tracking experiment in Dutch investigating perspective taking in narrative discourse. More specifically, we investigate 1) whether listeners automatically take a narrative character’s perspective when resolving ambiguous referential expressions, and 2) how different discourse modes affect shifting. We compare Neutral (a), Direct Discourse (b) and Free Indirect Discourse (c), manipulating what objects are visible to the character. a. The small bird was very colourful. b. He thought: “Oh, the small bird is very colourful!” c. Oh, the small bird was very colourful! Our results can provide insight into the cognitive parallels between perspective shifting in narrative and conversation, as well as in the role of linguistic cues in the likelihood of perspective shifting in narrative comprehension.
Period29-Jan-2021
Event titleGrote Taaldag 2021: null
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational