Linguistic expectation management in online discourse processing: An investigation of Dutch inderdaad 'indeed' and eigenlijk 'actually'
Van Bergen, G., & Bosker, H. R.
Linguistic expectation management in online discourse processing: An investigation of Dutch inderdaad 'indeed' and eigenlijk 'actually'. Journal of Memory and Language, 103
, 191-209. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2018.08.004.
Interpersonal discourse particles (DPs), such as Dutch inderdaad (≈‘indeed’) and eigenlijk (≈‘actually’) are highly frequent in everyday conversational interaction. Despite extensive theoretical descriptions of their polyfunctionality, little is known about how they are used by language comprehenders. In two visual world eye-tracking experiments involving an online dialogue completion task, we asked to what extent inderdaad, confirming an inferred expectation, and eigenlijk, contrasting with an inferred expectation, influence real-time understanding of dialogues. Answers in the dialogues contained a DP or a control adverb, and a critical discourse referent was replaced by a beep; participants chose the most likely dialogue completion by clicking on one of four referents in a display. Results show that listeners make rapid and fine-grained situation-specific inferences about the use of DPs, modulating their expectations about how the dialogue will unfold. Findings further specify and constrain theories about the conversation-managing function and polyfunctionality of DPs.