[PS-1.85] Understanding discourses from other people?s perspectives: Evidence from suppression of impossible events

Agg, D. 1 , Kukona, A. 2 & Kamide, Y. 1

1 University of Dundee
2 De Montfort University

Recent research has shown language comprehenders can use information about their interlocutors' knowledge in dialogues (either early or late in processing). One crucial possibility is that such 'early' findings could be due to task demands (e.g., referential communication task) or plausibility of to-be-suppressed information (comprehender's perspective) in dialogue studies. We conducted a visual-world eye-tracking study to investigate perspective-taking in 'passive-listening' of spoken discourses whereby nearly-learnt facts violating verbs' selectional restrictions should be suppressed to incorporate the protagonist's mental model (e.g., 1(a-c): (a)-'aware'; (b)-'unaware'; (c)-control condition; presented with an array of objects (boy, paper plane [impossible obj], ball [possible obj], nuts, bicycle)):

1. Josephine {(a,c) knows/(b) doesn't know} that the boy only enjoys {(a,b) bouncing paper planes/(c) flying paper planes}. Josephine thinks that the boy will bounce the {(a) paper plane/(b,c) ball}.

More looks to the impossible objects (paper plane) were obtained in the aware condition than in the unaware and control condition during 'verb (bounce) the' (and vice versa for the possible objects (ball)), indicating early dominance of the protagonist's perspectives over nearly-learnt impossible events. An ongoing experiment explores the interplay between physical impossibility (e.g., a big object being put in a small container) and perspective-taking.