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Speakers Reduce Because of Their Own Internal Representations. Jason Kahn Jennifer Arnold UNC – Chapel Hill. You really have to watch Federer to understand the beauty of top-flight sports performance. Sure, but do you think tennis is as accessible to middle America as football?.

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speakers reduce because of their own internal representations

Speakers Reduce Because of Their Own Internal Representations

Jason Kahn

Jennifer Arnold

UNC – Chapel Hill

slide2

You really have to watch Federer to understand the beauty of top-flight sports performance.

Sure, but do you think tennis is as accessible to middle America as football?

slide3

You really have to watch tennis to understand the beauty of top-flight sports performance.

Sure, but do you think tennis is as accessible to middle America as football?

repeated mentions get reduced e g bard et al 2000 fowler housum 1987
Repeated Mentions Get Reduced (e.g. Bard et al., 2000; Fowler & Housum, 1987)

Linguistically New Discourse Status

Linguistically Given Discourse Status

You really have to watch Federer to understand the beauty of top-flight sports performance.

You really have to watch tennis to understand the beauty of top-flight sports performance.

…tennis…

…tennis…

-givenness -predictability

+givenness +predictability

general questions
General Questions
  • What mechanism drives reduction?
  • Does it involve audience design?
audience design
Audience Design
  • Broadly speaking, designing utterance with audience in mind
  • When it comes to acoustic reduction…
    • Joint Discourse Status – represented explicitly, defined as shared information
    • Facilitated processing
      • For the speaker
      • For the listener
why shorter duration on second mention joint discourse status
Why shorter duration on second mention?Joint discourse status

“Tennis”

Givón, 1983; Grosz et al., 1995

why shorter duration on second mention speaker internal activation the alternative our proposal
Why shorter duration on second mention?Speaker-internal Activation(The alternative - our proposal)

“Tennis”

research questions
Research Questions
  • Must we explicitly represent discourse status for the purposes of reduction?
    • Or can we account for the same data by focusing on the activation of other necessary representations?
  • Must we explicitly represent the listener’s knowledge?
    • Or is audience design not the primary motivator?
joint discourse status
Joint Discourse Status

CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE

DISCOURSE STATUS

(given vs. new)

(what speaker and listener both know)

FORMULATION STAGE

ARTICULATION STAGE

Adapted from Levelt (1989), Schmitt, Meyer & Levelt (1999), and van der Meulen, Meyer, & Levelt (2001)

joint discourse status1
Joint Discourse Status

CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE

DISCOURSE STATUS

(given vs. new)

(what speaker and listener both know)

“tennis”

+givenness +predictability

Topic continuity tracks givenness information - in other words, givenness also creates predictability information

Fowler & Housum, 1987; Prince 1992

slide12

Activation-based

CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE

FORMULATION STAGE

ARTICULATION STAGE

Adapted from Levelt, 1989; c.f. Balota, Boland & Shields, 1989; Bard et al., 2000; Bell et al., 2009

activation based
Activation-based

givenness

CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE

“tennis”

predictability

FORMULATION STAGE

Both predictability and givenness should create activation, and thus should be separable

linguistic vs non linguistic givenness1
Linguistic vs. Non-linguistic Givenness

“The accordion…”

Joint Discourse

Speaker-internal

CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE

DISCOURSE STATUS

(given vs. new)

(what speaker and listener both know)

CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE

FORMULATION STAGE

FORMULATION STAGE

Bard & Anderson, 1990; Clark & Marshall, 1981; Prince, 1992

instruction giving task
Instruction-giving Task

Listener

Approximately 12 feet

Speaker

experimental paradigm
Experimental Paradigm

Speaker: “The accordion rotates right”

Speaker: “The toothbrush shrinks”

Speaker: “The belt expands”

experiment 1 priming information
Experiment 1: Priming Information

Control

Non-linguistic

Linguistic

“The toothbrush;

The belt;

The accordion”

slide19

Joint Discourse Status predicts….

Activation-based predicts…

reduced duration of the object word
Reduced Duration of the Object Word

Linguistic < Non-linguistic < Control

*

*

activation based naturally accounts for these findings
Activation-based Naturally Accounts For These Findings

Non-linguistic information led to reduction

Linguistic information led to more reduction

This task used predictability as a control to investigate givenness…

predictability givenness
Predictability & Givenness
  • A discourse status account predicts that givenness and topic continuity (i.e. predictability) pattern together, in the same representation
  • By contrast, an activation-based model allows either predictability or givenness to lead to reduction.

Fowler & Housum, 1987; Prince 1981

experiment 2 target given 1 8 of trials
Experiment 2: Target Given1/8 of trials

Non-linguistic

Linguistic

“The accordion”

experiment 2 target new 7 8 of trials
Experiment 2: Target New7/8 of trials

Non-linguistic

Linguistic

“The toothbrush”

reduced duration of the object word1
Reduced Duration of the Object Word

Target Given < Target New

*

further confirmation
Further Confirmation
  • Even in the absence of strong predictability, speakers reduce in response to linguistic givenness information
  • Exp.’s 1 & 2 suggest that speakers do not need to model discourse status explicitly for reduction
speaker internal audience design
Speaker-internal Audience Design?
  • Traditional views of discourse status say that speakers use it in part to model the listener (Clark & Marshall, 1981; Gundel et al., 1993)
  • But if we do away with a representation of discourse status here, we should still ask whether speakers do it because of themselves or because of their listeners
instruction giving task1
Instruction-giving Task

v

v

v

v

Blocked trials

Icon at the top of the screen

Headphones

Listener

Speaker

slide29

Reduced Object Duration

(Both, Speaker) < (Listener, None)

slide30

Speaker-internal Activation

  • If speakers were tracking discourse status, they should have shown a different pattern of reduction
  • Even without discourse status, speakers could have reduced for their listener, but did not
summary of results
Summary of Results
  • Linguistic givenness elicited more reduction than non-linguistic givenness in Experiment 1
  • Linguistic givenness elicited reduction even without strong predictability in Experiment 2
  • Speakers reduced when, and only when, they had givenness information in Experiment 3 (the listener doesn’t matter here)
slide32

Non-linguistic givenness created reduction

CONCEPTUALIZATION

Linguistic givenness created more reduction

FORMULATION

Givenness and predictability have separable effects, suggesting a common substrate, namely activation.

discourse status matters elsewhere
Discourse Status Matters Elsewhere
  • Word order (Arnold, Wasow, et al., 2000; Birner & Ward, 1994)
  • Lexical choice (e.g. pronouns vs. more explicit expressions) (Ariel, 2000; Arnold, 1998; Gundel et al., 1993)
  • Accenting (Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990)
other potential models
Other Potential Models
  • These results are still technically consistent with a model that includes an explicit representation of discourse status at the conceptual level.
  • But we propose that our model is both more parsimonious and makes additional predictions, which we are currently testing
the role of audience design
The Role of Audience Design
  • Has effects on word choice, amount of detail, number of words (Arnold, Kahn & Pancani (CUNY Poster Thursday); Bard et al., 2000; Galati & Brennan 2010)
  • The effect of audience design on reduction is mediated by the speaker’s internal representations (c.f. Balota, Boland & Shields, 1989; Bard et al., 2000)
the role of audience design1
The Role of Audience Design

Arnold, Kahn & Pancani, CUNY Poster Thursday

take home message slide
Take Home Message Slide
  • Speakers reduce based on the state of their own internal representations
    • They don’t appear to need an explicit representation of discourse status
    • They don’t appear to track the state of their listener(s)
with gratitude to
With Gratitude To…
  • The Cognitive and Language groups at UNC for endless discussion, support, and critique
  • Kellen Carpenter, Giulia Pancani, Alex Christodoulou, Alyssa Ventimiglia, Jennifer Tate, Sam Handel, and Leighanne McGill for help with these experiments
  • And Ellen Bard, Scott Fraundorf, Florian Jaeger, Tuan Lam, Janet Pierrehumbert, and Joseph Tyler for useful discussions