Language Processing

There are two bananas on the table and someone says, "Give me the banana, please!" - Even if this is a grammatically sound sentence, something is odd in the given context: the definite article "the" presupposes that the designated object ("banana") is unique in the current context. In general, presuppositions are unexpressed meaning components that determine whether an utterance is appropriate against the background of known world knowledge. The listener must therefore enrich information from world knowledge in order to arrive at a complete understanding.

As part of the Collaborative Research Center 833 "The constitution of meaning", in the Project B2 we deal with the time course of processing presuppositions. A central question is, for example, whether the presupposition processing is triggered immediately if a corresponding trigger word has occurred or if the processing is waiting until a sentence is presented as a whole. In addition, we also deal with the need for attention for presupposition processing. These questions are also discussed in cooperation with Nadine Bade (Paris).

Representative publication:

Schneider, C., Janczyk, M., & Bade, N. (accepted/in press). Verifying pragmatic inferences in context: An experimental comparison of presuppositions of again and the definite determiner with scalar implicatures. Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2020.

Schneider, C., Bade, N., Franke, M. & Janczyk, M. (2021). Presuppositions of determiners are immediately used to disambiguate utterance meaning: A mouse-tracking study on the German language. Psychological Research, 85, 348-1366.

Schneider, C., Bade, N., & Janczyk, M. (2020). Is immediate processing of presupposition triggers automatic or capacity-limited? A combination of the PRP approach with a self-paced reading task. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 49, 247-273.

Schneider, C., & Janczyk, M. (2020). Capacity limitations of processing presuppositions triggered by determiners. Acta Psychologica, 211, 103159.

Schneider, C., Schonard, C., Franke, M., Jäger, G., & Janczyk, M. (2019). Pragmatic processing: An investigation of the (anti-)presupposition of determiners using mouse-tracking. Cognition, 193, 104024.