[PS-3.60] Retrieval cues in language comprehension: Interference effects in monologue but not dialogue

Martin, A. E.

School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Language production and comprehension require integration of incoming linguistic representations with past input, often across intervening words and phrases. The cue-based retrieval framework has amassed evidence that interference is the main determinant of processing difficulty during dependency resolution (Lewis et al., 2006; McElree, 2006). Yet, little is known about the nature of retrieval cues in language. Most data comes from silent reading, a form of monologue. But the computational challenge of dependency resolution is potent in dialogue, where representations are omitted or elided, and where production/comprehension occur dynamically between two brains. I present ERP data from a dialogue-overhearing paradigm: 36 British English speakers listened to 120 spoken discourses in Monologue or Dialogue, and where the ellipsis antecedent was either Recent or Distant. An interaction was observed on a frontal late, positive-going component that was maximal between 800-1000msec, starting ~400msec post-CW. Reliable pairwise: Monologue Distant more positive than Monologue Recent. Interaction pattern suggests distance-based interference effects can be suppressed by speaker information. If speaker cues affect interference, then retrieval cues must be composite, containing speaker and grammatical information. Such an architecture suggests a wider range of information types might interact incrementally during in online language comprehension ?in the wild.?