Experimental Pragmatics 2019 | Edinburgh, June 19-21 2019

Keynote 3: Vera Demberg, Universität des Saarlandes

Investigations into the effect of processing depth on pragmatic inferences

Experimental work on pragmatics and discourse often shows large differences in interpretation between individuals. In the first part of my talk, I will discuss recent experimental evidence which allows us to link differences in the interpretation of coherence relations to processing depth and language experience.

In the second part of my talk, I will speculate on how particularized pragmatic inferences may cause processing difficulty, which is a crucial step when trying to relate pragmatic inferences to cognitive abilities. Specifically, I will discuss recent experimental findings on recursion depth in reasoning when choosing or comprehending discourse connectives, and recent results on drawing pragmatic inferences under cognitive load.