Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Post-head compression in noun phrase referring expressions: structural change in interactive communication


Oppliger, Rahel (2022). Post-head compression in noun phrase referring expressions: structural change in interactive communication. In: Sommerer, Lotte; Keizer, Evelien. English Noun Phrases from a Functional-Cognitive Perspective : Current issues. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 108-133.

Abstract

In communication, language users frequently produce referring expressions with noun phrases at their centre (NP REs). Over the course of a communicative interaction, interlocutors’ use of NP REs tends to change: previous research has attested to speakers’ tendency to converge on linguistic forms – establishing routines (e.g. Pickering & Garrod 2004, 2005) – and to shorten their NP REs in the process (e.g. Clark & Wilkes-Gibbs 1986; Brennan & Clark 1996; Castillo et al. 2019). The present chapter investigates this shortening process and observes the structural changes in NP REs that accompany it. The study is based on data from an experimentally elicited corpus of spoken English consisting of conversational dyads producing repeated references to visual stimuli in a referential communication task. Interlocutors are indeed shown to shorten their NP REs over the course of the elicited dialogues: particularly, a decrease in longer clausal post-head elements is observed, while the use of only premodified NP REs and shorter phrasal postmodification shows a relative increase. These changes are indicative of shifts in the type of structural modification the NP REs contain: initially, speakers produce more clausal elements, which are associated with structural elaboration; later in the interaction, a decrease in clausal and relative increase in phrasal modification reveals structural compression (cf. Biber & Clark 2002).

Abstract

In communication, language users frequently produce referring expressions with noun phrases at their centre (NP REs). Over the course of a communicative interaction, interlocutors’ use of NP REs tends to change: previous research has attested to speakers’ tendency to converge on linguistic forms – establishing routines (e.g. Pickering & Garrod 2004, 2005) – and to shorten their NP REs in the process (e.g. Clark & Wilkes-Gibbs 1986; Brennan & Clark 1996; Castillo et al. 2019). The present chapter investigates this shortening process and observes the structural changes in NP REs that accompany it. The study is based on data from an experimentally elicited corpus of spoken English consisting of conversational dyads producing repeated references to visual stimuli in a referential communication task. Interlocutors are indeed shown to shorten their NP REs over the course of the elicited dialogues: particularly, a decrease in longer clausal post-head elements is observed, while the use of only premodified NP REs and shorter phrasal postmodification shows a relative increase. These changes are indicative of shifts in the type of structural modification the NP REs contain: initially, speakers produce more clausal elements, which are associated with structural elaboration; later in the interaction, a decrease in clausal and relative increase in phrasal modification reveals structural compression (cf. Biber & Clark 2002).

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

31 downloads since deposited on 24 Jan 2022
14 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:420 English & Old English languages
820 English & Old English literatures
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:2022
Deposited On:24 Jan 2022 16:02
Last Modified:21 Mar 2024 04:35
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
Series Name:Studies in Language Companion Series
Number:221
ISSN:0165-7763
ISBN:9789027210173
Additional Information:© Copyright John Benjamins Publishing Company. The published version is available at Studies in Language Companion Series 221 2022, pp. 108–133
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.221.03opp
Related URLs:https://benjamins.com/catalog/slcs.221.03opp (Publisher)