The Processing of 'wieder' ('again') and Other Presupposition Triggers

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2014-10
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Anglistik, Amerikanistik
Advisor: Beck, Sigrid (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2014-02-12
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
Keywords: Semantik , Pragmatik , Psycholinguistik , Präsupposition
Other Keywords: Projektionsverhalten
Semantische Verarbeitung
Semantic Processing
Presupposition Projection
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This dissertation presents three experiments on the processing of the German presupposition trigger wieder (`again'). In the first experiment, the focus is on how a simple sentence containing again is processed during reading when the presupposition is given in the context in contrast to when it is not given. On the basis of these results, I suggest that people do not accommodate a presupposition if not absolutely necessary. This leads me to postulate the maxim Minimize Accommodation. I further argue that assuming such a maxim has consequences for presupposition trigger other than again. The processing hypotheses for other presupposition triggers deduced from the results of the first experiment are tested in the second experiment. They are contrasted with hypotheses that can be drawn from other, more pragmatic presupposition theories. These two hypotheses are tested with a variety of presuppositions triggers (factives, change of state verbs, iteratives, additives, definites) in a self-paced reading experiment. The results reveal interesting differences between the triggers which fit most easily with a theory which assumes a lexical source for presuppositions. In the third experiment, I turn to the complex issue of presupposition projection out of quantified expressions. Two theories on this phenomenon are contrasted and tested in an eye-tracking experiment with the triggers again and the definite determiner. The results show that neither of the discussed theories can account for the empirical pattern, because both treat presupposition projection as a uniform phenomenon, independent of the quantifier chosen. I suggest an analysis which is more flexible in that it takes the lexical contribution of the quantifier into account and is thus able to model the quantifier-dependent interpretations. [untranslated]

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