Informativity, topicality, and speech cost: comparing models of speakers’ choices of referring expressions

Naho Orita*, Eliana Vornov, Naomi H. Feldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study formalizes and compares two major hypotheses in speakers’ choices of referring expressions: the topicality model that chooses a form based on the topicality of the referent, and the rational model that chooses a form based on the informativity of the form and its speech cost. Simulations suggest that both the topicality of the referent and the informativity of the word are important to consider in speakers’ choices of reference forms, while a speech cost metric that prefers shorter forms may not be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-765
Number of pages23
JournalDiscourse Processes
Volume58
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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