Lexical and contextual cue effects in discourse expectations: Experimenting with German 'zwar...aber' and English 'true/sure...but'

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Description: Existing literature shows that readers and listeners rapidly adjust their expectations about likely discourse continuations through discourse markers, as well as through other narrow linguistic and discourse contextual cues. However, it is unclear whether (i) the facilitative effects of various linguistic cues differ in quality and (ii) whether the effects interact with one another in any principled manner. We conducted two self-paced reading experiments on concessive constructions in German and English wherein optional lexical and/or contextual cues appeared ahead of a concessive discourse connective. The results demonstrate that readers can use both types of cues to anticipate the upcoming connective. Thus, our study provides novel evidence for expectation-driven accounts of discourse processing and elucidates the functions of discourse signals. Furthermore, the results also show that the role a type of cue plays may be subject to cross-linguistic variation.

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Lexical and contextual cue effects in discourse expectations: Experimenting with German 'zwar...aber' and English 'true/sure...but' Juliane Schwab (Institute of Cognitive Science, Osnabrück University) & Mingya Liu (Department of English and American Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin) This repository contains the experimental stimuli, data, and code for two self-paced reading and naturalness...

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  • code

    code used to analyse the data obtained in the German and English experiments

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  • stimuli

    stimuli used for the German and English experiment

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  • data

    Raw and preprocessed rating and reading time data

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