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Is there a universal answering strategy for rejecting negative propositions? Typological evidence on the use of prosody and gesture.

González-Fuente S, Tubau S, Espinal MT, Prieto P - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: First, to assess empirically the relevance of prosodic and gestural patterns in the interpretation of confirming and rejecting responses to negative polar questions.The results of our investigation support the existence of a universal answering system for rejecting negative polar questions that integrates lexical and syntactic strategies with prosodic and gestural patterns, and instantiate the REJECT and ASSERT operators.We will also discuss the implications these results have for the truth-based vs. polarity-based taxonomy.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Prosodic Studies Group, Department of Translation and Language Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has proposed that languages diverge with respect to how their speakers confirm and contradict negative questions. Taking into account the classification between truth-based and polarity-based languages, this paper is mainly concerned with the expression of REJECT (a semantic operation that signals a contradiction move with respect to the common ground, along Krifka's lines) in two languages belonging to two typologically distinct answering systems, namely Catalan (polarity-based) and Russian (a mixed system using polarity-based, truth-based, and echoic strategies). This investigation has two goals. First, to assess empirically the relevance of prosodic and gestural patterns in the interpretation of confirming and rejecting responses to negative polar questions. Second, to test the claim that in fact speakers resort to strikingly similar universal strategies at the time of expressing rejecting answers to discourse accessible negative assertions and negative polar questions, namely the use of linguistic units that encode REJECT in combination with ASSERT. The results of our investigation support the existence of a universal answering system for rejecting negative polar questions that integrates lexical and syntactic strategies with prosodic and gestural patterns, and instantiate the REJECT and ASSERT operators. We will also discuss the implications these results have for the truth-based vs. polarity-based taxonomy.

No MeSH data available.


Two image sequences of the typical gestures associated with Catalansí“yes” in confirming answers to positive propositions (top panel) and in rejecting answers to negative propositions (bottom panel).
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Figure 3: Two image sequences of the typical gestures associated with Catalansí“yes” in confirming answers to positive propositions (top panel) and in rejecting answers to negative propositions (bottom panel).

Mentions: This subsection presents the analysis of the gestural patterns produced together with the yes-particles in rejecting and confirming answers. As in the case of prosodic analyses, only gestures performed together with isolated yes-answers and yes-answers produced in a single intonational phrase (e.g., separated by a pause from the following intonational phrase) were analyzed. The coded gestures involved head movements (e.g., head nod, head tilt, head shake), eyebrow movements (eyebrow raising), shoulder movements (e.g., shoulder shrug), as well as degrees of emphasis of some of the target movements (slight vs. strong head nod). Figure 3 shows two image sequences of the typical gestures associated with Catalan sí “yes” in confirming answers to positive propositions (top panel) and in rejecting answers to negative propositions (bottom panel).


Is there a universal answering strategy for rejecting negative propositions? Typological evidence on the use of prosody and gesture.

González-Fuente S, Tubau S, Espinal MT, Prieto P - Front Psychol (2015)

Two image sequences of the typical gestures associated with Catalansí“yes” in confirming answers to positive propositions (top panel) and in rejecting answers to negative propositions (bottom panel).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493367&req=5

Figure 3: Two image sequences of the typical gestures associated with Catalansí“yes” in confirming answers to positive propositions (top panel) and in rejecting answers to negative propositions (bottom panel).
Mentions: This subsection presents the analysis of the gestural patterns produced together with the yes-particles in rejecting and confirming answers. As in the case of prosodic analyses, only gestures performed together with isolated yes-answers and yes-answers produced in a single intonational phrase (e.g., separated by a pause from the following intonational phrase) were analyzed. The coded gestures involved head movements (e.g., head nod, head tilt, head shake), eyebrow movements (eyebrow raising), shoulder movements (e.g., shoulder shrug), as well as degrees of emphasis of some of the target movements (slight vs. strong head nod). Figure 3 shows two image sequences of the typical gestures associated with Catalan sí “yes” in confirming answers to positive propositions (top panel) and in rejecting answers to negative propositions (bottom panel).

Bottom Line: First, to assess empirically the relevance of prosodic and gestural patterns in the interpretation of confirming and rejecting responses to negative polar questions.The results of our investigation support the existence of a universal answering system for rejecting negative polar questions that integrates lexical and syntactic strategies with prosodic and gestural patterns, and instantiate the REJECT and ASSERT operators.We will also discuss the implications these results have for the truth-based vs. polarity-based taxonomy.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Prosodic Studies Group, Department of Translation and Language Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has proposed that languages diverge with respect to how their speakers confirm and contradict negative questions. Taking into account the classification between truth-based and polarity-based languages, this paper is mainly concerned with the expression of REJECT (a semantic operation that signals a contradiction move with respect to the common ground, along Krifka's lines) in two languages belonging to two typologically distinct answering systems, namely Catalan (polarity-based) and Russian (a mixed system using polarity-based, truth-based, and echoic strategies). This investigation has two goals. First, to assess empirically the relevance of prosodic and gestural patterns in the interpretation of confirming and rejecting responses to negative polar questions. Second, to test the claim that in fact speakers resort to strikingly similar universal strategies at the time of expressing rejecting answers to discourse accessible negative assertions and negative polar questions, namely the use of linguistic units that encode REJECT in combination with ASSERT. The results of our investigation support the existence of a universal answering system for rejecting negative polar questions that integrates lexical and syntactic strategies with prosodic and gestural patterns, and instantiate the REJECT and ASSERT operators. We will also discuss the implications these results have for the truth-based vs. polarity-based taxonomy.

No MeSH data available.