Université de Neuchâtel

Knowledge likely held by others affects speakers’ choices of referential expressions at different stages of discourse

Achim, Amélie M. ; Achim, André ; Fossard, Marion

In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 2017, vol. 32, no. 1, p. 21-36

Effective communication requires adjusting one’s discourse to be understood by the addressee. While some suggest that choices of referring expressions are dependent on the addressee’s accessibility to the referent, there is also evidence for an egocentric bias in speech production. This study relied on two new experimental tasks designed to assess whether speakers adapt their choices of...

Université de Neuchâtel

Referential Choices in a Collaborative Storytelling Task: Discourse Stages and Referential Complexity Matter

Fossard, Marion ; Achim, Amélie M. ; Rousier-Vercruyssen, Lucie ; Gonzalez, Sylvia ; Bureau, Alexandre ; Champagne-Lavau, Maud

In: Frontiers in Psychology, 2018, vol. 9, no. 176, p. 1-18

During a narrative discourse, accessibility of the referents is rarely fixed once and for all. Rather, each referent varies in accessibility as the discourse unfolds, depending on the presence and prominence of the other referents. This leads the speaker to use various referential expressions to refer to the main protagonists of the story at different moments in the narrative. This study relies...

Université de Neuchâtel

Adjustment of speaker’s referential expressions to an addressee’s likely knowledge and link with theory of mind abilities

Achim, Amélie M. ; Fossard, Marion ; Couture, Sophie ; Achim, André

In: Frontiers in Psychology, 2015, vol. 6, no. 823, p. 1-11

To communicate cooperatively, speakers must determine what constitutes the common ground with their addressee and adapt their referential choices accordingly. Assessing another person’s knowledge requires a social cognition ability termed theory of mind (ToM). This study relies on a novel referential communication task requiring probabilistic inferences of the knowledge already held by an...