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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.


Percentage of occurrence (y-axis) of the types of gestures (x-axis) used by Catalan speakers to confirm positive propositions (black columns) and to reject negative propositions (gray columns). The data correspond to gestures associated with sí “yes” that are produced in a single intonational phrase.
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Figure 4: Percentage of occurrence (y-axis) of the types of gestures (x-axis) used by Catalan speakers to confirm positive propositions (black columns) and to reject negative propositions (gray columns). The data correspond to gestures associated with sí “yes” that are produced in a single intonational phrase.

Mentions: Figure 4 shows the percentage of occurrence of different gesture types used by Catalan speakers to confirm positive propositions (black columns) and to reject negative propositions (gray columns). The results show that most of the confirmation answers to positive questions/assertions were performed with some type of head nod (e.g., 62% of the cases with slight head nods, and 29% of the cases with strong or repeated head nods) and with 10% of head tilts. Also, some yes particles were accompanied with slight (38%) or strong eyebrow raising (19%), whereas 43% present no eyebrow movements. By contrast, gestural marks produced together with yes particles in rejecting answers were associated with more marked head movements such as repeated or strong nods (77% of the cases) or head tilts (23.2%), and with a more consistent presence of eyebrow raising (92% of the cases –with 23% of slight and 69% of strong eyebrow raising-), as well as with shoulder shrugging (38.5%)5. The results of four chi-square tests showed that the presence of slight nods [χ2(1, 34) = 6.87, p < 0.01], strong/repeated nods [χ2(1, 34) = 7.53, p < 0.01], strong eyebrow raising [χ2(1, 34) = 8.56, p < 0.01] and shrug [χ2(1, 34) = 9.46, p < 0.01] were significantly related to the type of answer in which they were produced (rejecting vs. confirming).


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)

Percentage of occurrence (y-axis) of the types of gestures (x-axis) used by Catalan speakers to confirm positive propositions (black columns) and to reject negative propositions (gray columns). The data correspond to gestures associated with sí “yes” that are produced in a single intonational phrase.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Percentage of occurrence (y-axis) of the types of gestures (x-axis) used by Catalan speakers to confirm positive propositions (black columns) and to reject negative propositions (gray columns). The data correspond to gestures associated with sí “yes” that are produced in a single intonational phrase.
Mentions: Figure 4 shows the percentage of occurrence of different gesture types used by Catalan speakers to confirm positive propositions (black columns) and to reject negative propositions (gray columns). The results show that most of the confirmation answers to positive questions/assertions were performed with some type of head nod (e.g., 62% of the cases with slight head nods, and 29% of the cases with strong or repeated head nods) and with 10% of head tilts. Also, some yes particles were accompanied with slight (38%) or strong eyebrow raising (19%), whereas 43% present no eyebrow movements. By contrast, gestural marks produced together with yes particles in rejecting answers were associated with more marked head movements such as repeated or strong nods (77% of the cases) or head tilts (23.2%), and with a more consistent presence of eyebrow raising (92% of the cases –with 23% of slight and 69% of strong eyebrow raising-), as well as with shoulder shrugging (38.5%)5. The results of four chi-square tests showed that the presence of slight nods [χ2(1, 34) = 6.87, p < 0.01], strong/repeated nods [χ2(1, 34) = 7.53, p < 0.01], strong eyebrow raising [χ2(1, 34) = 8.56, p < 0.01] and shrug [χ2(1, 34) = 9.46, p < 0.01] were significantly related to the type of answer in which they were produced (rejecting vs. confirming).

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.