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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2020

Analysis of Turkish referring expressions in a situated dialog context: The case of nominal demonstratives

From the book Discourse Meaning

  • Faruk Büyüktekin , Murat Perit Çakır and Cengiz Acartürk


Speakers frequently refer to entities in the surrounding environment during spoken discourse by using demonstratives. Interlocutors must resolve these referring expressions for successful communication. However, demonstrative reference is a challenging problem due to the complex nature of the phenomenon. Traditional accounts of demonstratives are individual and speaker-centric, whereas recent findings consider the resolution of demonstrative references as joint and multimodal actions. The research goal of the current study was to explore whether an investigation of demonstratives from a situated and distributed perspective presents a more comprehensive framework that may lead to a better understanding of the cognitive processes underlying reference generation and resolution. More specifically, this study investigated the relationship between the use of demonstratives and the gaze patterns of the participants collaborating in a situated dialog environment. Our findings revealed a set of systematic characteristics that address certain cognitive principles governing their use. In particular, the findings showed that gaze is a significant visual cue, which is temporally linked to demonstrative use. Overall, the results indicated that demonstrative use is a joint activity in which both the speaker and the listener actively engage with each other.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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