Electrophysiology of Pragmatic Processing: Exploring the Processing Cost of the Scalar Implicature in the Truth-Value Judgment Task

Maria SpychalskaRuhr University Bochum, Institute of Philosophy II
Jarmo KontinenRuhr University Bochum, Institute of Philosophy II
Markus WerningRuhr University Bochum, Institute of Philosophy II

Abstract

Most theoretical as well as empirical work regarding the scalar implicature "not all" of the quantifier "some" has focused on the controversy of whether this implicature is generated by default or based on context. Independently of this question, it can be also asked whether this scalar implicature contributes to the truth-conditional content of sentences. We present results of an ERP study which tackles both these questions. We adopt a sentence-picture verification paradigm to investigate whether the violation of this implicature, when it is based on short-term memory rather than semantic memory, elicits N400 or late positivity (e.g. P600) effects. Additionally, we test if the truth-value judgments of the pragmatically infelicitous sentences correlate with the elicited ERP components.

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Electrophysiology of Pragmatic Processing: Exploring the Processing Cost of the Scalar Implicature in the Truth-Value Judgment Task (7.3 MB)



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