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This and that back in context: Grounding demonstrative reference in manual and social affordances

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Spatial demonstratives, i.e. words like this and that, serve as important tools to establish joint attention, allowing interlocutors to flexibly share spatial reference schemes. However, little experimental work has investigated which perceptual and social factors drive speakers’ choices of demonstrative forms. We used a novel experimental paradigm to explore 1) the role of relative placement of competing referents on the sagittal and lateral planes, 2) whether and how the presence of an addressee modulates the speaker’s choice of demonstrative forms. We found that the choice of demonstratives is affected by the relative position of competing referents both on the sagittal and lateral plane. Furthermore, we found that the presence of an interlocutor shifts attraction for proximal demonstratives towards the shared space of reference, but only in collaborative contexts. Together, these results suggest that spatial deixis is grounded in a contrastive organization of space tightly coupled to manual and social affordances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCogSci 2018 Proceedings
EditorsChuck Kalish, Marina Rau, Jerry Zhu, Tim Rogers
Number of pages6
PublisherCognitive Science Society
Publication year2018
Pages960-65
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9911967-8-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventCogSci2018: Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Madison, United States
Duration: 25 Jul 201828 Jul 2018

Conference

ConferenceCogSci2018: Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
LandUnited States
ByMadison
Periode25/07/201828/07/2018
SeriesProceedings From The 40th Annual Meeting Of The Cognitive Science Society

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