Publications

Displaying 1 - 55 of 55
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L., & Twomey, K. E. (2020). Introduction. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 1-7). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.int.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1995). Body parts in Ewe grammar. In H. Chapell, & W. McGregor (Eds.), The grammar of inalienability: A typological perspective on body part terms and the part-whole relation (pp. 783-840). Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Amora, K. K., Garcia, R., & Gagarina, N. (2020). Tagalog adaptation of the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives: History, process and preliminary results. In N. Gagarina, & J. Lindgren (Eds.), New language versions of MAIN: Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives – Revised (pp. 221-233).

    Abstract

    This paper briefly presents the current situation of bilingualism in the Philippines, specifically that of Tagalog-English bilingualism. More importantly, it describes the process of adapting the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (LITMUS-MAIN) to Tagalog, the basis of Filipino, which is the country’s national language. Finally, the results of a pilot study conducted on Tagalog-English bilingual children and adults (N=27) are presented. The results showed that Story Structure is similar across the two languages and that it develops significantly with age.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2020). Appositive compounds in dialectal and sociolinguistic varieties of French. In M. Maiden, & S. Wolfe (Eds.), Variation and change in Gallo-Romance (pp. 326-346). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Brown, P. (1995). Politeness strategies and the attribution of intentions: The case of Tzeltal irony. In E. Goody (Ed.), Social intelligence and interaction (pp. 153-174). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    In this paper I take up the idea that human thinking is systematically biased in the direction of interactive thinking (E. Goody's anticipatory interactive planning), that is, that humans are peculiarly good at, and inordinately prone to, attributing intentions and goals to one other (as well as to non-humans), and that they routinely orient to presumptions about each other's intentions in what they say and do. I explore the implications of that idea for an understanding of politeness in interaction, taking as a starting point the Brown and Levinson (1987) model of politeness, which assumes interactive thinking, a notion implicit in the formulation of politeness as strategic orientation to face. Drawing on an analysis of the phenomenon of conventionalized ‘irony’ in Tzeltal, I emphasize that politeness does not inhere in linguistic form per se but is a matter of conveying a polite intention, and argue that Tzeltal irony provides a prime example of one way in which humans' highly-developed intellectual machinery for inferring alter's intentions is put to the service of social relationships.
  • Burenhult, N. (2020). Foraging and the history of languages in the Malay Peninsula. In T. Güldemann, P. McConvell, & R. Rhodes (Eds.), The language of Hunter-Gatherers (pp. 164-197). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Casillas, M., & Hilbrink, E. (2020). Communicative act development. In K. P. Schneider, & E. Ifantidou (Eds.), Developmental and Clinical Pragmatics (pp. 61-88). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

    Abstract

    How do children learn to map linguistic forms onto their intended meanings? This chapter begins with an introduction to some theoretical and analytical tools used to study communicative acts. It then turns to communicative act development in spoken and signed language acquisition, including both the early scaffolding and production of communicative acts (both non-verbal and verbal) as well as their later links to linguistic development and Theory of Mind. The chapter wraps up by linking research on communicative act development to the acquisition of conversational skills, cross-linguistic and individual differences in communicative experience during development, and human evolution. Along the way, it also poses a few open questions for future research in this domain.
  • Cutler, A. (1995). Spoken word recognition and production. In J. L. Miller, & P. D. Eimas (Eds.), Speech, language and communication (pp. 97-136). New York: Academic Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter highlights that most language behavior consists of speaking and listening. The chapter also reveals differences and similarities between speaking and listening. The laboratory study of word production raises formidable problems; ensuring that a particular word is produced may subvert the spontaneous production process. Word production is investigated via slips and tip-of-the-tongue (TOT), primarily via instances of processing failure and via the technique of via the picture-naming task. The methodology of word production is explained in the chapter. The chapter also explains the phenomenon of interaction between various stages of word production and the process of speech recognition. In this context, it explores the difference between sound and meaning and examines whether or not the comparisons are appropriate between the processes of recognition and production of spoken words. It also describes the similarities and differences in the structure of the recognition and production systems. Finally, the chapter highlights the common issues in recognition and production research, which include the nuances of frequency of occurrence, morphological structure, and phonological structure.
  • Cutler, A. (1995). Spoken-word recognition. In G. Bloothooft, V. Hazan, D. Hubert, & J. Llisterri (Eds.), European studies in phonetics and speech communication (pp. 66-71). Utrecht: OTS.
  • Cutler, A., & McQueen, J. M. (1995). The recognition of lexical units in speech. In B. De Gelder, & J. Morais (Eds.), Speech and reading: A comparative approach (pp. 33-47). Hove, UK: Erlbaum.
  • Cutler, A. (1995). The perception of rhythm in spoken and written language. In J. Mehler, & S. Franck (Eds.), Cognition on cognition (pp. 283-288). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Danziger, E. (1995). Intransitive predicate form class survey. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 46-53). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3004298.

    Abstract

    Different linguistic structures allow us to highlight distinct aspects of a situation. The aim of this survey is to investigate similarities and differences in the expression of situations or events as “stative” (maintaining a state), “inchoative” (adopting a state) and “agentive” (causing something to be in a state). The questionnaire focuses on the encoding of stative, inchoative and agentive possibilities for the translation equivalents of a set of English verbs.
  • Danziger, E. (1995). Posture verb survey. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 33-34). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3004235.

    Abstract

    Expressions of human activities and states are a rich area for cross-linguistic comparison. Some languages of the world treat human posture verbs (e.g., sit, lie, kneel) as a special class of predicates, with distinct formal properties. This survey examines lexical, semantic and grammatical patterns for posture verbs, with special reference to contrasts between “stative” (maintaining a posture), “inchoative” (adopting a posture), and “agentive” (causing something to adopt a posture) constructions. The enquiry is thematically linked to the more general questionnaire 'Intransitive Predicate Form Class Survey'.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2020). Recruiting assistance and collaboration: A West-African corpus study. In S. Floyd, G. Rossi, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Getting others to do things: A pragmatic typology of recruitments (pp. 369-241). Berlin: Language Science Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.4018388.

    Abstract

    Doing things for and with others is one of the foundations of human social life. This chapter studies a systematic collection of 207 requests for assistance and collaboration from a video corpus of everyday conversations in Siwu, a Kwa language of Ghana. A range of social action formats and semiotic resources reveals how language is adapted to the interactional challenges posed by recruiting assistance. While many of the formats bear a language-specific signature, their sequential and interactional properties show important commonalities across languages. Two tentative findings are put forward for further cross-linguistic examination: a “rule of three” that may play a role in the organisation of successive response pursuits, and a striking commonality in animal-oriented recruitments across languages that may be explained by convergent cultural evolution. The Siwu recruitment system emerges as one instance of a sophisticated machinery for organising collaborative action that transcends language and culture.
  • Fox, E. (2020). Literary Jerry and justice. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Frost, R., & Monaghan, P. (2020). Insights from studying statistical learning. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 65-89). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.03fro.

    Abstract

    Acquiring language is notoriously complex, yet for the majority of children this feat is accomplished with remarkable ease. Usage-based accounts of language acquisition suggest that this success can be largely attributed to the wealth of experience with language that children accumulate over the course of language acquisition. One field of research that is heavily underpinned by this principle of experience is statistical learning, which posits that learners can perform powerful computations over the distribution of information in a given input, which can help them to discern precisely how that input is structured, and how it operates. A growing body of work brings this notion to bear in the field of language acquisition, due to a developing understanding of the richness of the statistical information contained in speech. In this chapter we discuss the role that statistical learning plays in language acquisition, emphasising the importance of both the distribution of information within language, and the situation in which language is being learnt. First, we address the types of statistical learning that apply to a range of language learning tasks, asking whether the statistical processes purported to support language learning are the same or distinct across different tasks in language acquisition. Second, we expand the perspective on what counts as environmental input, by determining how statistical learning operates over the situated learning environment, and not just sequences of sounds in utterances. Finally, we address the role of variability in children’s input, and examine how statistical learning can accommodate (and perhaps even exploit) this during language acquisition.
  • Güldemann, T., & Hammarström, H. (2020). Geographical axis effects in large-scale linguistic distributions. In M. Crevels, & P. Muysken (Eds.), Language Dispersal, Diversification, and Contact. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hagoort, P., & Brown, C. M. (1995). Electrophysiological insights into language and speech processing. In K. Elenius, & P. Branderud (Eds.), Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences: ICPhS 95: Stockholm, Sweden, 13-19 August, 1995 (pp. 172-178). Stockholm: Stockholm University.
  • Hagoort, P., & Kutas, M. (1995). Electrophysiological insights into language deficits. In F. Boller, & J. Grafman (Eds.), Handbook of neuropsychology: Vol. 10 (pp. 105-134). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Hagoort, P. (2020). Taal. In O. Van den Heuvel, Y. Van der Werf, B. Schmand, & B. Sabbe (Eds.), Leerboek neurowetenschappen voor de klinische psychiatrie (pp. 234-239). Amsterdam: Boom Uitgevers.
  • Hagoort, P. (1995). Wat zijn woorden en waar vinden we ze in ons brein? In E. Marani, & J. Lanser (Eds.), Dyslexie: Foutloos spellen alleen weggelegd voor gestoorden? (pp. 37-46). Leiden: Boerhaave Commissie voor Postacademisch Onderwijs in de Geneeskunde, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden.
  • Kastens, K. (2020). The Jerome Bruner Library treasure. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen (pp. 29-34). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Keating, E. (1995). Pilot questionnaire to investigate social uses of space, especially as related to 1) linguistic practices and 2) social organization. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 17-21). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3004227.

    Abstract

    Day-to-day interpretations of “space” are enmeshed in specific cultural and linguistic practices. For example, many cultures have an association between vertical height and social standing; more powerful people may be placed literally higher than others at social gatherings, and be spoken of as having higher status. This questionnaire is a guide for exploring relationships between space, language, and social structure. The goal is to better understand how space is organised in the focus community, and to investigate the extent to which space is used as a model for reproducing social forms.
  • Kidd, E., Bigood, A., Donnelly, S., Durrant, S., Peter, M. S., & Rowland, C. F. (2020). Individual differences in first language acquisition and their theoretical implications. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 189-219). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.09kid.

    Abstract

    Much of Lieven’s pioneering work has helped move the study of individual differences to the centre of child language research. The goal of the present chapter is to illustrate how the study of individual differences provides crucial insights into the language acquisition process. In part one, we summarise some of the evidence showing how pervasive individual differences are across the whole of the language system; from gestures to morphosyntax. In part two, we describe three causal factors implicated in explaining individual differences, which, we argue, must be built into any theory of language acquisition (intrinsic differences in the neurocognitive learning mechanisms, the child’s communicative environment, and developmental cascades in which each new linguistic skill that the child has to acquire depends critically on the prior acquisition of foundational abilities). In part three, we present an example study on the role of the speed of linguistic processing on vocabulary development, which illustrates our approach to individual differences. The results show evidence of a changing relationship between lexical processing speed and vocabulary over developmental time, perhaps as a result of the changing nature of the structure of the lexicon. The study thus highlights the benefits of an individual differences approach in building, testing, and constraining theories of language acquisition.
  • Kita, S. (1995). Enter/exit animation for linguistic elicitation. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 13). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3003394.

    Abstract

    This task investigates the expression of “enter” and “exit” events, and is a supplement to the Motion Elicitation task (https://doi.org/10.17617/2.3003391). Consultants are asked to describe a series of animated clips where a man moves into or out of a house. The clips focus on contrasts to do with perspective (e.g., whether the man appears to move away or towards the viewer) and transitional movement (e.g., whether the man walks or “teleports” into his new location).

    Additional information

    1995_Enter_exit_animation_stimuli.zip
  • Kita, S. (1995). Recommendations for data collection for gesture studies. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 35-45). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3004287.

    Abstract

    Do our hands 'speak the same language' across cultures? Gesture is the silent partner of spoken languages in face-to-face interaction, but we still have a lot to learn about gesture practices in different speech communities. The primary purpose of this task is to collect data in naturalistic settings that can be used to investigate the linguistic and cultural relativity of gesture performance, especially spatially indicative gestures. It involves video-recording pairs of speakers in both free conversation and more structured communication tasks (e.g., describing film plots). Please note: the stimuli mentioned in this entry are available elsewhere: 'The Pear Story', a short film made at the University of California at Berkeley; "Frog, where are you?" from the original Mayer (1969) book, as published in the Appendix of Berman & Slobin (1994).
  • Klein, W., Dietrich, R., & Noyau, C. (1995). Conclusions. In R. Dietrich, W. Klein, & C. Noyau (Eds.), The acquisition of temporality in a second language (pp. 261-280). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1995). Epoche [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (100).
  • Klein, W. (1995). Frame of analysis. In R. Dietrich, W. Klein, & C. Noyau (Eds.), The acquisition of temporality in a second language (pp. 17-29). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Klein, W. (1995). Sprachverhalten. In M. Amelang, & Pawlik (Eds.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie (pp. 469-505). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
  • Klein, W., Coenen, J., Van Helvert, K., & Hendriks, H. (1995). The acquisition of Dutch. In R. Dietrich, W. Klein, & C. Noyau (Eds.), The acquisition of temporality in a second language (pp. 117-143). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Klein, W. (1995). The acquisition of English. In R. Dietrich, W. Klein, & C. Noyau (Eds.), The acquisition of temporality in a second language (pp. 31-70). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1995). Chapters of psychology: An interview with Wilhelm Wundt. In R. L. Solso, & D. W. Massaro (Eds.), The science of mind: 2001 and beyond (pp. 184-202). Oxford University Press.
  • Levelt, W. J. M., & Ruijssenaars, A. (1995). Levensbericht Johan Joseph Dumont. In Jaarboek Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (pp. 31-36).
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1995). Psycholinguistics. In C. C. French, & A. M. Colman (Eds.), Cognitive psychology (reprint, pp. 39- 57). London: Longman.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (2020). The alpha and omega of Jerome Bruner's contributions to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen (pp. 11-18). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

    Abstract

    Presentation of the official opening of the Jerome Bruner Library, January 8th, 2020
  • Levinson, S. C. (1995). Interactional biases in human thinking. In E. N. Goody (Ed.), Social intelligence and interaction (pp. 221-260). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (1995). Three levels of meaning. In F. Palmer (Ed.), Grammar and meaning: Essays in honour of Sir John Lyons (pp. 90-115). Cambridge University Press.
  • McQueen, J. M., & Dilley, L. C. (2020). Prosody and spoken-word recognition. In C. Gussenhoven, & A. Chen (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of language prosody (pp. 509-521). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter outlines a Bayesian model of spoken-word recognition and reviews how prosody is part of that model. The review focuses on the information that assists the lis­ tener in recognizing the prosodic structure of an utterance and on how spoken-word recognition is also constrained by prior knowledge about prosodic structure. Recognition is argued to be a process of perceptual inference that ensures that listening is robust to variability in the speech signal. In essence, the listener makes inferences about the seg­ mental content of each utterance, about its prosodic structure (simultaneously at differ­ ent levels in the prosodic hierarchy), and about the words it contains, and uses these in­ ferences to form an utterance interpretation. Four characteristics of the proposed prosody-enriched recognition model are discussed: parallel uptake of different informa­ tion types, high contextual dependency, adaptive processing, and phonological abstrac­ tion. The next steps that should be taken to develop the model are also discussed.
  • Misersky, J., & Redl, T. (2020). A psycholinguistic view on stereotypical and grammatical gender: The effects and remedies. In C. D. J. Bulten, C. F. Perquin-Deelen, M. H. Sinninghe Damsté, & K. J. Bakker (Eds.), Diversiteit. Een multidisciplinaire terreinverkenning (pp. 237-255). Deventer: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Pederson, E. (1995). Questionnaire on event realization. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 54-60). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3004359.

    Abstract

    "Event realisation" refers to the normal final state of the affected entity of an activity described by a verb. For example, the sentence John killed the mosquito entails that the mosquito is afterwards dead – this is the full realisation of a killing event. By contrast, a sentence such as John hit the mosquito does not entail the mosquito’s death (even though we might assume this to be a likely result). In using a certain verb, which features of event realisation are entailed and which are just likely? This questionnaire supports cross-linguistic exploration of event realisation for a range of event types.
  • Rowland, C. F. (2020). Introduction. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Senft, G. (1995). 'Noble savages' and 'the islands of love': Trobriand Islanders in 'popular publications'. In C. Baak, M. Bakker, & D. Van der Meij (Eds.), Tales from a concave world: Liber amicorum Bert Voorhoeve (pp. 480-510). Leiden: Projects division, department of languages and cultures of South East Asia and Oceania, Leiden University.
  • Senft, G. (2020). 32 Kampfschild - dance or war shield - vayola. In T. Brüderlin, & S. Stoll (Eds.), Ausgepackt! 125Jahre Geschichte[n] im Museum Natur und Mensch. Texte zur Ausstellung, Städtische Museen Freiburg, vom 20. Juni 2020 bis 10. Januar 2021 (pp. 76-77). Freiburg: Städtische Museen.
  • Senft, G. (1995). Elicitation. In J. Blommaert, J.-O. Östman, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Handbook of Pragmatics: Manual (pp. 577-581). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Senft, G. (1995). Fieldwork. In J. Blommaert, J.-O. Östman, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Handbook of Pragmatics: Manual (pp. 595-601). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Senft, G. (2020). Kampfschild - vayola. In T. Brüderlin, S. Schien, & S. Stoll (Eds.), Ausgepackt! 125Jahre Geschichte[n] im Museum Natur und Mensch (pp. 58-59). Freiburg: Michael Imhof Verlag.

    Additional information

    Picture
  • Senft, G. (1995). Mit Tinkertoy in die Tiefe(n) des Raumes: Zum räumlichen Verweisen im Kilivila - Eine Fallstudie. In R. Fiehler, & D. Metzing (Eds.), Untersuchungen zur Kommunikationstruktur (Bielefelder Schriften zu Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft, pp. 139-162). Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1995). Reflections on negation. In H. C. M. De Swart, & L. J. M. Bergmans (Eds.), Perspectives on Negation. Essays in honour of Johan J. de Iongh on his 80th birthday (pp. 153-176). Tilburg: Tilburg University Press.
  • Skiba, R., & Steinmüller, U. (1995). Pragmatics of compositional word formation in technical languages. In H. Pishwa, & K. Maroldt (Eds.), The development of morphological systematicity: A cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 305-321). Tübingen: Narr.
  • Van Berkum, J. J. A., Hijne, H., De Jong, T., Van Joolingen, W. R., & Njoo, M. (1995). Characterizing the application of computer simulations in education: Instructional criteria. In A. Ram, & D. B. Leake (Eds.), Goal-driven learning (pp. 381-392). Cambridge, M: MIT Press.
  • Van Valin Jr., R. D. (1995). Toward a functionalist account of so-called ‘extraction constraints’. In B. Devriendt (Ed.), Complex structures: A functionalist perspective (pp. 29-60). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Wilkins, D., Pederson, E., & Levinson, S. C. (1995). Background questions for the "enter"/"exit" research. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 14-16). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3003935.

    Abstract

    How do languages encode different kinds of movement, and what features do people pay attention to when describing motion events? This document outlines topics concerning the investigation of “enter” and “exit” events. It helps contextualise research tasks that examine this domain (see 'Motion Elicitation' and 'Enter/Exit animation') and gives some pointers about what other questions can be explored.
  • Wilkins, D. (1995). Motion elicitation: "moving 'in(to)'" and "moving 'out (of)'". In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Extensions of space and beyond: manual for field elicitation for the 1995 field season (pp. 4-12). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3003391.

    Abstract

    How do languages encode different kinds of movement, and what features do people pay attention to when describing motion events? This task investigates the expression of “enter” and “exit” activities, that is, events involving motion in(to) and motion out (of) container-like items. The researcher first uses particular stimuli (a ball, a cup, rice, etc.) to elicit descriptions of enter/exit events from one consultant, and then asks another consultant to demonstrate the event based on these descriptions. See also the related entries Enter/Exit Animation and Background Questions for Enter/Exit Research.
  • Zinken, J., Rossi, G., & Reddy, V. (2020). Doing more than expected: Thanking recognizes another's agency in providing assistance. In C. Taleghani-Nikazm, E. Betz, & P. Golato (Eds.), Mobilizing others: Grammar and lexis within larger activities (pp. 253-278). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Abstract

    In informal interaction, speakers rarely thank a person who has complied with a request. Examining data from British English, German, Italian, Polish, and Telugu, we ask when speakers do thank after compliance. The results show that thanking treats the other’s assistance as going beyond what could be taken for granted in the circumstances. Coupled with the rareness of thanking after requests, this suggests that cooperation is to a great extent governed by expectations of helpfulness, which can be long-standing, or built over the course of a particular interaction. The higher frequency of thanking in some languages (such as English or Italian) suggests that cultures differ in the importance they place on recognizing the other’s agency in doing as requested.

Share this page