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Scalar implicature has served as a test case for investigating the nature of inference processes in language comprehension. Specifically, the question of whether or not scalar implicatures are computed by default has been extensively investigated in recent years. We argue that the question of default is overly simplistic and propose instead to think of(More)
We present data from three experiments addressing how much theory of mind reasoning is involved in production and interpretation of ambiguous referential expressions in an artificial language task, and how this interacts with the cost and availability of alternative utterances. When an unambiguous alternative is not available, listeners tend to draw simple(More)
A rarely discussed but important issue in research on pragmatic inference is the choice of dependent measure for estimating the robustness of pragmatic inferences and their sensitivity to contextual manipulations. Here we present the results from three studies exploring the effect of contextual manipulations on scalar implicature. In all three studies we(More)
Three experiments investigated the processing of the implicature associated with some using a "gumball paradigm." On each trial, participants saw an image of a gumball machine with an upper chamber with 13 gumballs and an empty lower chamber. Gumballs then dropped to the lower chamber and participants evaluated statements, such as "You got some of the(More)
Linguistic meaning has long been recognized to be highly context-dependent. Quantifiers like many and some provide a particularly clear example of context-dependence. For example, the interpretation of quantifiers requires listeners to determine the relevant domain and scale. We focus on another type of context-dependence that quantifiers share with other(More)
World knowledge enters into pragmatic utterance interpretation in complex ways, and may be defeasible in light of speak-ers' utterances. Yet there is to date a surprising lack of systematic investigation into the role of world knowledge in pragmatic inference. In this paper, we show that a state-of-the-art model of pragmatic interpretation greatly(More)
People's representations of most and arguably all linguistic and non-linguistic categories are probabilistic. However, in linguistic theory, quantifier meanings have traditionally been defined set-theoretically in terms of categorical evaluation functions. In 4 " adaptation " experiments, we provide evidence for the alternative hypothesis that quantifiers(More)
The FIASCO system implements a machine-learning approach for the automatic removal of boilerplate (navigation bars, link lists, page headers and footers, etc.) from Web pages in order to make them available as a clean and useful corpus for linguistic purposes. The system parses an HTML document into a DOM tree representation and identifies a set of disjoint(More)
1. Introduction In this paper we discuss the two German specificity markers bestimmt and gewiss. Both markers share a tendency to indicate wide scope of the modified DP and to require identifiability of a certain kind. In these respects they correspond to specificity markers in other languages such as certain in English and French or koe-wh in Russian,(More)
What makes a question useful? What makes an answer appro-priate? In this paper, we formulate a family of increasingly sophisticated models of question-answer behavior within the Rational Speech Act framework. We compare these models based on three different pieces of evidence: first, we demonstrate how our answerer models capture a classic effect in(More)