Over-specified referring expressions impair comprehension:an ERP study

Engelhardt, Paul E., Barış Demiral, Ş. and Ferreira, Fernanda (2011) Over-specified referring expressions impair comprehension:an ERP study. Brain and Cognition, 77 (2). pp. 304-314. ISSN 1090-2147

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Abstract

Speakers often include extra information when producing referring expressions, which is inconsistent with the Maxim of Quantity (Grice, 1975). In this study, we investigated how comprehension is affected by unnecessary information. The literature is mixed: some studies have found that extra information facilitates comprehension and others reported impairments. We used an attentional-cueing paradigm to assess how quickly participants could orient attention to an object upon hearing a referring expression, such as the red square. If there are two squares differing in color, then the modifier is required. However, if there is only one (red) square, then the modifier is unnecessary. We also recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) in order to investigate online processing. Reaction times were significantly longer for referring expressions that contained extra information, and ERPs revealed a centroparietal negativity (N400) that emerged approximately 200-300 ms after modifier onset. We conclude that referring expressions with an unnecessary pre-nominal modifier impair comprehension performance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescent,adult,attention,cerebral cortex,comprehension,electroencephalography,evoked potentials,female,humans,male,photic stimulation,reaction time
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2015 12:00
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 14:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/54858
DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2011.07.004

Actions (login required)

View Item