Since Horn (1972) the notion of conversational implicature proposed by Grice has been put to use to explain certain interpretive differences between expressions in natural language and their counterparts in formal logic. For example, the sentences in (1) seem to convey more than they would be expected to if the natural language disjunction or had the same meaning as the logical disjunction ∨, or if the quantiﬁcational determiner some was interpreted as the existential quantiﬁer ∃.
We adopt the visual-world eye-tracking paradigm to test the hypothesis that scalar implicatures are integrated very locally to the utterance of scalar terms. Focusing on the and,or scale, we show that early point-of-disambiguation effects similar to those triggered by the integration of the lexical meaning of and can be triggered by the integration of the exhaustive meaning of or. Some design issues and an independent interpretive asymmetry holding between and and or are discussed as possible explanations for remaining differences between (...) the effects found in the two cases. We conclude that the exclusivity implicature that is associated to sentences containing or seems to be calculated online, rather locally to the utterance of the disjunction. (shrink)
The notion of common ground is important for the production of referring expressions: In order for a referring expression to be felicitous, it has to be based on shared information. But determining what information is shared and what information is privileged may require gathering information from multiple sources, and constantly coordinating and updating them, which might be computationally too intensive to affect the earliest moments of production. Previous work has found that speakers produce overinformative referring expressions, which include privileged names, (...) violating Grice’s Maxims, and concluded that this is because they do not mark the distinction between shared and privileged information. We demonstrate that speakers are in fact quite effective in marking this distinction in the form of their utterances. Nonetheless, under certain circumstances, speakers choose to overspecify privileged names. (shrink)
We agree with Pickering & Garrod's (P&G's) proposal that dialogue is an important empirical and theoretical test bed for models of language processing. However, we offer two cautionary notes. First, the enterprise will require explicit computational models. Second, such models will need to incorporate both joint and separate speaker and hearer commitments in ways that go beyond priming and alignment.
Norris et al.'s claim that feedback is unnecessary is compromised by (1) a questionable application of Occam's razor, given strong evidence for feedback in perception; (2) an idealization of the speech recognition problem that simplifies those aspects of the input that create conditions where feedback is useful; (3) Norris et al.'s use of decision nodes that incorporate feedback to model some important empirical results; and (4) problematic linking hypotheses between crucial simulations and behavioral data.