Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mood, Aspect, Modality RevisitedNew Answers to Old Questions$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joanna Blaszczak, Anastasia Giannakidou, Dorota Klimek-Jankowska, and Krzysztof Migdalski

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226363523

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226363660.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2020

Can Semantic Theories Be Tested Experimentally?

Can Semantic Theories Be Tested Experimentally?

The Case of Aspectual Coercion

Chapter:
(p.346) Chapter Ten Can Semantic Theories Be Tested Experimentally?
Source:
Mood, Aspect, Modality Revisited
Author(s):

Oliver Bott

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226363660.003.0010

This chapter presents the results of one event related potentials (ERP) experiment and three self-paced reading experiments which test the predictions of semantic/pragmatic theories of aspectual coercion in German. Bott contrasts operator-based and underspecification accounts of aspectual coercion with the event calculus, a pragmatic theory of tense and aspect, which proposes a classification of coercion into different types. In the ERP study and in the first self-paced reading experiment focusing on “additive coercion,” the results provide evidence against a semantic operator-based account indicating instead that aspectual coercion heavily relies on pragmatic inference. Two further self-paced reading experiments compared “subtractive coercion” and two types of “iterative coercion”— and the results of these two experiments suggest that different kinds of coercion involve different processing mechanisms. Most strikingly, different subtypes of “iterative coercion,” which in principle should involve the same iterative operator, revealed different coercion costs. Taken together, the experiments demonstrate that an operator-based coercion theory or underspecification account cannot fully account for the experimental data. The predictions of event calculus, however, were fully confirmed by the experiments. Event calculus thus allows us to derive empirically valid predictions about the underlying cognitive processes while incrementally constructing a temporal model of the unfolding discourse.

Keywords:   German, event related potential, aspectual coercion, event calculus, ERP

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.