CogNetwork is an interdisciplinary weekly forum focused on discussing ongoing research in language and cognition; both theoretical and experimental approaches are welcomed.

It features presentations of works in progress by members of the UC Berkeley Linguistics Department and other campus departments as well as invited visitors.

A major goal of the forum is to foster cross-department and cross-disciplinary communication and contact.

when & where

Friday 12:00-13:30
1229 Dwinelle Hall

contact information

April 7, 2017

Jackson Tolins (UC Santa Cruz) (website)

Collaborative Effects in Dialogue Comprehension: Addressee Responses and Grounding affect Overhearing

The collaborative language use paradigm has shown us that the production of talk and meaning is a joint effort, involving processes that incorporate multiple active participants. This makes engaging in conversation distinct from both listening to a monologue, involving just one speaker, and listening to a dialogue without the ability to participate. We call this latter form of listening overhearing. Typically, overhearers are treated as lower status listeners, with less understanding available than addressees whose active participation always them to take part in the grounding of meaning in a conversation. In my line of research, I’ve sought to change this perspective, and instead focus on overhearers as doing something unique. In this talk I will review a series of studies that explore dialogue comprehension from different perspectives, including online comprehension, memory of conversations, and even word learning in children, to show that overhearers aren’t just secondary listeners, but rather understand the dialogue holistically, integrating information across the overheard speakers.