Viewing time affects overspecification: Evidence for two strategies of attribute selection during reference production

Ruud Koolen, Albert Gatt, Emiel Krahmer, Roger P.G. van Gompel, K. van Deemter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Speakers often produce definite referring expressions that are overspecified: they tend to include more attributes than necessary to distinguish the target referent. The current paper investigates how the occurrence of overspecification is affected by viewing time. We conducted an experiment in which speakers were asked to refer to target objects in visual domains. Half of the speakers had unlimited time to inspect the domains, while viewing time was limited (1000 ms) for the other half. The results reveal that limited viewing time induces the occurrence of overspecification. We conjecture that limited viewing time caused speakers to rely heavily on quick heuristics during attribute selection, which urge them to select attributes that are perceptually salient. In the case of unlimited inspection time, speakers seem to rely on a combination of heuristic and more deliberate selection strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsA. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, J. Trueswell
Pages159-164
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventCogSci 2016 - Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 201613 Aug 2016

Conference

ConferenceCogSci 2016
CountryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia
Period10/08/1613/08/16

Keywords

  • Definite reference
  • Overspecification
  • Heuristics
  • Viewing time

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