Focus Alternatives and Contextual Domain Restriction: A Visual World Eye-tracking Study on the Interpretation of 'Only'

  • Christina Kim
  • Christine Gunlogson
  • Michael Tanenhaus
  • Jeffrey Runner

Abstract

The interpretation of sentences with focus-sensitive elements like ‘only’ depends on context to restrict the domain of relevant alternatives for evaluating the focused expression. But what kinds of contextually available information do listeners actually use to restrict interpretive domains? Three visual world eye-tracking experiments show that listeners use at least previous mention (Experiment 1), real-world knowledge about specific scenarios (Experiment 2), and conceptual similarity to recently mentioned items (Experiment 3).
Published
2019-07-24
How to Cite
Kim, C., Gunlogson, C., Tanenhaus, M., & Runner, J. (2019). Focus Alternatives and Contextual Domain Restriction: A Visual World Eye-tracking Study on the Interpretation of ’Only’. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 13(1), 261-274. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2009.v13i1.532