[PS-3.83] The role of interlocutor?s identity during speech processing: the case of Basque allocutives

Wolpert, M. , Caffarra, S. & Mancini, S.

Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, Spain

Interlocutor's identity has a strong impact not only on what we will say but also on how we will convey information. However, the impact of the addressee on the analysis of an utterance is still unclear. The present behavioral study will shed light on this issue investigating the case of Basque allocutives, where the verb needs to agree with the sex of the interlocutor. Basque native speakers had to judge the grammaticality and the naturalness of 220 conversations. Each conversation included two different utterances: the first one was pronounced by either a man or a woman; the second one was always pronounced by a man and it ended with a target verb. Allocutive agreement was manipulated so that masculine and feminine verbs agreed or disagreed with the sex of the addressee. Person violations were included as a control comparison. Results from grammaticality and naturalness tasks showed a clear effect of person agreement violation. In the case of allocutives an effect of agreement was observed for the naturalness task, but not for the grammaticality task. The present findings suggest that mechanisms underlying the integration of discourse-level information (e.g., addressee's identity) partially differ from those involved in morphosyntactic feature analysis.