ZAS Workshop · Berlin




Optimality Theoretic Pragmatics


             Maria Aloni
          Reinhard Blutner
       Uni...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




            Outline (Part I)

1. Grice and his Followers: Global and
   Local Theories of Pragma...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                            Grice (1975)




   Neo-                     OT-Pragmatics
  Gricean...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin



         Global and local theories of NL
                 interpretation

   • Global theories ha...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




         Relevance Theory
                                               Communicative
         ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                   General Procedure

–    test possible inter-                                 ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




Neo-Gricean Theories (Atlas, Horn)

• The Q-Principle (Hearer-based):
   – Say as much as you ca...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                        Example
             siF siM                                 m1         ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin



         What are the heuristics?
                                              r.       r.      ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




             Conclusions

Global Theories                    Local Theories
Neo-GriceanTheory   ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




        Symmetric OT-systems
• Symmetric system: If f                   m (optimal
  interpretat...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                         Findings
  • Children as young as 2 years pass the
    symmetry test! (...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




 Two ways of deriving symmetry
 • Symmetry as a result of the
   network architecture
    – In s...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin



  Mirror neurons in the premotor cortex
A mirror neuron is a
neuron which fires both
when perform...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                      Zipf 1949
• Two basic and competing forces
  – Speaker’s economy: Force of...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                        Fossilization
     Global Theories                              Local Th...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin



Population in pairwise
     interaction




  Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 20...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




         General Observations
• Horn and Anti-Horn are the only strategies (OT-
  systems) that ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




     Strongest Meaning Hypothesis



     round the door                 Consistence            ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin



   The interplay between broadening
             and narrowing
Zwart’s (2005)                    ...
ZAS Workshop · Berlin




                                  4
                        Conclusions

• Local theories – unid...
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  1. 1. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Optimality Theoretic Pragmatics Maria Aloni Reinhard Blutner University of Amsterdam Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Part I Optimality Theoretic Pragmatics: The Cognitive Grounding Part II Fossilized Pragmatics: Focus and accent Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  2. 2. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Outline (Part I) 1. Grice and his Followers: Global and Local Theories of Pragmatics 2. Cognitive Motivation of Symmetry and Bidirection 3. The Idea of Fossilization Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin 1 Grice and his Followers: Global and Local Theories of Pragmatics Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  3. 3. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Grice (1975) Neo- OT-Pragmatics Gricean Relevance Theory Theories (Horn, Atlas) Presumptive Meanings Normative Stance Naturalistic Stance Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Rejecting the doctrin of literal meaning Semantic Underdetermination (Atlas): – Linguistic meanings underdetermine the truth- conditional content – Ambiguity vs. semantic non-specificity Contextualism: – the suggestion that the mechanism of pragmatic interpretation is crucial both for determining what the speaker says and what he means. Linguistic meaning ≠ what is said Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  4. 4. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Global and local theories of NL interpretation • Global theories have a holistic character. Often they refer to normative theories. They are problematic as incremental processing models. • Local theories can account for an incremental interpretation mechanism. Often they refer to compositional, automatized projection routines. Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Local Global Syntax Traditional generative OT syntax, syntax connectionism Semantics Montague semantics Early structuralism & lexical field theories Interpretive optimization Bidirectional optimi- (Hendriks & de Hoop) zation Presuppos. Van der Sandt, Zeevat (discourse Geurts particles) Implicature Relevance Theory Neo-Gricean theories Levinson 2000; Chierchia Optimality Theoretic Pragmatics Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  5. 5. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Relevance Theory Communicative Principle of Relevance Utterances convey a presumption of their own optimal relevance Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin What does it mean? Any given utterance can be presumed: – to be at least relevant enough to warrant the addressee’s processing effort – to be the most relevant one compatible with the speaker’s current state of knowledge and her personal preferences and goals. Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  6. 6. ZAS Workshop · Berlin General Procedure – test possible inter- EFFECT EFFORT pretations in their 1 * * order of accessibility 2 * ** [EFFORT] 3 * *** – stop once the 4 * **** 5 * ***** expectation of opti- 6 · ****** mal relevance is 7 · ******* satisfied [EFFECT] (cf. Sperber, Cara & Girotto, 1995: 95) Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Optimal Interpretation Hendriks & de Hoop: The integration of pragmatic and syntactic/semantic information in a system of ranked constraints in order to correctly derive the optimal interpretations Suggestion by RT: EFFECT >> EFFORT Zeevat: Faith >> Consistence >> Do not accommodate >> Strength Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  7. 7. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Neo-Gricean Theories (Atlas, Horn) • The Q-Principle (Hearer-based): – Say as much as you can! (modulo R) (Grice’s first quantity maxim and the first two manner maxims) • The R-Principle (Speaker-based): – Say not more than you must! (modulo Q) (Grice’s second quantity maxim, relation maxim and the second two manner maxims) Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Weak Bidirectionality 〈f, m〉 is weakly optimal (= super-optimal) iff a. 〈f, m〉 ∈ GEN b. there is no weakly optimal 〈f’, m〉 ∈ GEN such that 〈f’, m〉 > 〈f, m〉 c. there is no weakly optimal 〈f, m’ 〉 ∈ GEN such that 〈f, m’ 〉 > 〈f, m〉 ● This is an abstract scheme (Jäger 2002) ● The content of the ordering relation “>” is determined by the system of constraints Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  8. 8. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Example siF siM m1 m2 〈f1, m1〉 f1 〈f1, m2〉 * 〈f2, m1〉 * 〈f2, m2〉 * * f2 siF: prefer short forms siM: prefer stereotypical meanings Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Levinson‘s Presumptive Meanings • Presumptive meanings are a matter of preferred interpretation calculated by a particular default mechanism • Presumptive meanings are local • Three heuristics – Q-heuristic: What isn’t said is not the case – I-heuristic: What is expressed simply is stereotypically exemplified – M-heuristic: What’s said in an abnormal way isn’t normal Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  9. 9. ZAS Workshop · Berlin What are the heuristics? r. r. i- I i-M heu heu A nt nt I- M - A siF siM F→M F*→M* F→M* F*→M 〈f1, m1〉 * 〈f1, m2〉 * * 〈f2, m1〉 * * 〈f2, m2〉 * * * siF: prefer short forms siM: prefer stereotypical meanings I-heuristic: What is expressed simply is stereotypically exemplified M-heuristic: What’s said in an abnormal way isn’t normal Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Comparison Neo-Gricean Levinson (2000) global theory local theory bidirection optimization unidirectional optimization siF,siM I, M m1 m2 m1 m2 f1 f1 f2 f2 Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  10. 10. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Conclusions Global Theories Local Theories Neo-GriceanTheory Relevance Theory Levinson (2000) Bidirectional OT Unidirectional OT Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin 2 Cognitive motivation of symmetry and bidirection Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  11. 11. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Symmetric OT-systems • Symmetric system: If f m (optimal interpretation) then m f (optimal expression) f1 m1 f1 m1 f2 m2 f2 m2 • For symmetric systems: unidirectional optimization gives the same solutions as bidirectional optimization and vice versa Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin The symmetry test • A set of pairs of patterns (Ai, Bi) are lop repeatedly presented. When one member of the pair is presented raf the subject has to learn to produce the other. Assume a 1-1 kas correspondence between A and B • If subjects are qualified to match raf Stimulus A to B and then, without further training, match B to A, they lop have passed a test of symmetry kas Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  12. 12. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Findings • Children as young as 2 years pass the symmetry test! (Green 1990) • Chimps do not show symmetry (see Savage-Rumbaugh, 1984). Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Symmetry between language production and comprehension • Normally, we can understand the sentences we produce. – Exceptions are very rare • In most cases, we can produce the sentences we understand. – Typical exceptions in language acquisition: Children‘s ability in production lags dramatically behind their ability in comprehension Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  13. 13. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Two ways of deriving symmetry • Symmetry as a result of the network architecture – In symmetric networks, one and the same pattern can be produced starting from different inputs. • Symmetry as a result of A→B learning ∆ A' ← B – Tesar’s and Smolensky’s Difference A-A' learning theory. triggers learning Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Mirror neurons in the premotor cortex A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when performing an action and when observing the same action performed by another creature • Monkey grasp a nut • Monkey sees how another creature grasp a nut Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  14. 14. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Mirror neurons in the premotor cortex A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when performing an action and when observing the same action performed by another creature • Monkey grasp a nut • Monkey sees how another creature grasp a nut Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Weak bidirection and symmetry • Rather than seeing weak bidirection as a online interpretation/production mechanism, it should be understood in terms of (iterated) learning (resulting in symmetric OT systems). • Suggestion – Unidirectional OT (local theories) ⇔ Synchronic perspective – (Weak) bidirection OT (global theories) ⇔ Diachronic perspective Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  15. 15. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Zipf 1949 • Two basic and competing forces – Speaker’s economy: Force of unification R – Hearer’s economy: Force of diversification Q • The two opposing economies are evolutionary forces, i.e. they are balanced during language evolution. – Languages are evolving via cultural rather than biological transmission on a historical rather than genetic timescale Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin 3 The idea of fossilization Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  16. 16. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Fossilization Global Theories Local Theories bidirectional optimization unidirectional optimization m1 m2 m1 m2 f1 f1 Fossilization f2 f2 Markedness constraints Linking constraints siF,siM I, M Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin (Iterated) Learning Speaker Hearer m f m’ m = m’ ? If yes, nothing happens If no, adjustment: - All constraints that favour (f, m) over (f, m’) are promoted - All constraints that favour (f, m’) over (f, m) are demoted Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  17. 17. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Population in pairwise interaction Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin All possible strategies Horn Smolensky AntiHorn Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  18. 18. ZAS Workshop · Berlin General Observations • Horn and Anti-Horn are the only strategies (OT- systems) that are stable • Starting with a uniform Smolensky population the system will always move into – a pure Horn population supposed P(m1) > P(m1) – a pure Anti-Horn population supposed P(m1) < P(m1) • The same holds for mixed populations Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin Joost Zwarts: round in English a. The postman ran round the block (in a circle) b. The burglar drove round the barrier (to the opposite side) c. The steeplechaser ran round the corner (to the other side) d. The captain sailed round the lake e. The tourist drove round the city centre Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  19. 19. ZAS Workshop · Berlin Strongest Meaning Hypothesis round the door Consistence Strength completeness * inversion * orthogonality ** detour *** Lexicon: round → Approx [Circle] Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin J.Zwaarts: om and rond in Dutch a. They sat round the television Ze zaten rond (?om) de televisie b. A man put his head round the Een man stak zijn hoofd om door (?rond, ?rondom) de deur c. The drove round the obstacle De auto reed om (?rond, ?rondom) het obstakel heen d. the area round the little town het gebied rondom (?om) het stadje DETOUR ------------------------------------------------ CIRCLE om … strengthening → … ← weakening … rond Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  20. 20. ZAS Workshop · Berlin The interplay between broadening and narrowing Zwart’s (2005) rond • If rond has some inter- pretation m then it has each stronger inter- pretation • If om has some inter- pretation m then it has each weaker interpretation • there is some overlap between om and rond om Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007 ZAS Workshop · Berlin The puzzle • the marked form (rond) conforms to the stronger (= preferred) meanings […. Circle] • the unmarked form (om) conforms to the weaker meanings [….. DeTour] • This conflicts with weak bidirection and iconicity Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007
  21. 21. ZAS Workshop · Berlin 4 Conclusions • Local theories – unidirectional optimization – Synchronic view • Global theories – bidirectional optimization – Diachronic view • Weak bidirection as (lexical) fossilization – Fossilization = ‘routinization’ of implicatures Reinhard Blutner · University of Amsterdam · May 2007

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