Angela Giovanna Patarroyo

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Projekte

C03 Situation-register congruence meets morphosyntax and verb-argument violations: Real-time and post-sentence comprehension

Kontakt

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dorotheenstraße 24, 10117 Berlin

patarroa@hu-berlin.de

Publications & Presentations

    Publications

  • Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Maquate, Katja; Ito, Aine; Knoeferle, Pia  (2022) Investigating the effect of situation-formality on spoken language comprehension of register In: AMLaP 2022 [ViVo]

    During comprehension, listeners can draw upon different sources of non-linguistic information for reference resolution and structural disambiguation (e.g., Tanenhaus et al., 1995). While non-linguistic information plays an active role in extant accounts of sentence processing, social-context effects (e.g., of situation-formality on register processing) have received little attention (but see van Berkum, et al., 2008). Using the Visual World eye-tracking paradigm (Fig.1) we investigate whether (i) formality conveyed by a linguistic context can rapidly affect the visual interrogation of objects and associated comprehension processes; (ii) we see rapid effects of verb-argument congruence; (iii) congruence in context formality and register interacts with verb-argument congruence (testing to what extent we can assume a single conceptual store and closely-linked mental representation that encompasses register information).

    Method and Design: In two eye-tracking pilot studies (32 critical items), we examine native German speakers' comprehension of register variants (Latschencolloquial vs. Schuhestandard transl:.‘shoes’) in a German target sentence when this target sentence (mis)matches the formality of a preceding context sentence, given the object argument either matches or mismatches verb meaning constraints (e.g. Ich binde gleich meine Schuhe/Latschen/ #Kleidung/#Klamotten, transt.: ‘I’m about to tie my shoesstandard/ shoescoll/#clothesstandard/ #clothescoll’). Pilot 2 (n=8) uses the same stimuli as Pilot 1 (n=9). Pilot 1 adopts a blocked-presentation of situation-formality (where one block is formal and the other one informal). Pilot 2, on the other hand, alternates between each formality condition in a mixed-presentation order. The comparison between the formality-blocked vs mixed design serves to evaluate whether comprehenders can swiftly adjust to situation-formality shifts (Pilot 2) or whether they benefit from the habituation to situation-formality facilitated by the blocked design (Pilot 1).

    Hypotheses: If participants are sensitive to formality-register and verb-argument congruence we expect this to manifest in eye gaze: more looks to formality-register and verb-argument matching than mismatching objects, time-locked to an object argument conveying semantic information about register and permitting the computation of verb-argument congruence. The inclusion of these two factors permits us to assess not only questions (i), (ii) but also (iii), via the presence or absence of a factorial interaction. In addition, if formality-register and verb-argument congruence interact during the post-verbal object noun region, how verb-argument congruence is processed may depend on formality-register congruence. Furthermore, if presentation mode (blocked vs mixed) interacts with formality-register congruence, we anticipate more fixations on register-matching objects after previously encountering a collective set of sentences with the same formality level, as opposed to when they appear in a mixed design.

    Results: LME Pilot 1 and 2 results show a main effect of verb-argument congruence and formality-register anticipation based on the context sentence and the object features at the verb region (from the verb onset to the object-argument onset) and a main effect of verb-argument congruence at the post-verbal object noun region (from the onset to offset of the object-argument) in the mixed design (Fig.3). Contrary to our hypothesis, the formality-register anticipation effect observed at the verb region was more pronounced in the mixed than in the formality-blocked design. Our analysis also revealed an interaction of formality-register anticipation and verb-argument congruency in the verb-region in both pilot studies (Fig.2). These findings taken together imply that (a) situation-formality might modulate the processing of verb-argument congruence indicating that standard language processing mechanisms are in close interaction with register representations, and (b) this effect appears to be modulated by the presentation mode. The main experiments with 64 participants are underway (Experiment 1 n=32; Experiment 2 n=32). 

  • Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Maquate, Katja; Ito, Aine; Knoeferle, Pia  (2022) Investigating the real-time effect of register-situation formality congruence versus verb-argument semantic fit during spoken language comprehension In: CogSci [ViVo]

    This visual world eye-tracking pilot study investigates the comprehension of register variants (Stelzencolloquial vs. Beinestandard transl:.‘’legs’) in a German target sentence when this target sentence (mis)matches the formality of a preceding context sentence, given the object argument either matches or mismatches verb meaning constraints (e.g. Ich rasiere bald meine Beine/Stelzen/#Autos/#Karren, transt.: ‘I shave my legsstandard/legscoll/#carsstandard/#carscoll’). The aim of this study is to examine whether register congruence rapidly interacts with verb-argument semantic relations. LME results (n=9) show a main effect of verb-argument congruence but no main effect of formality-register congruence at the region between the verb onset and object-argument onset, indicating that verb-argument relations are computed and used rapidly in online language comprehension. These pilot results suggest that situation formality may indeed modulate verb-argument congruency processing, possibly indicating that standard language processing mechanisms interact closely with register representations.

  • Pescuma, Valentina Nicole; Serova, Dina; Lukassek, Julia; Sauermann, Antje; Schäfer, Roland; Adli, Aria; Bildhauer, Felix; Egg, Markus; Hülk, Kristina; Ito, Aine; Jannedy, Stefanie; Kordoni, Valia; Kühnast, Milena; Kutscher, Silvia; Lange, Robert; Lehmann, Nico; Liu, Mingya; Lütke, Beate; Maquate, Katja; Mooshammer, Christine; Mortezapour, Vahid; Müller, Stefan; Norde, Muriel; Pankratz, Elizabeth; Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Plesca, Ana-Maria; Ronderos, Camilo R.; Rotter, Stephanie; Sauerland, Uli; Schulte, Britta; Schüppenhauer, Gediminas; Sell, Bianca Maria; Solt, Stephanie; Terada, Megumi; Tsiapou, Dimitra; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Weirich, Melanie; Wiese, Heike; Zaruba, Kathy; Zeige, Lars Erik; Lüdeling, Anke; Knoeferle, Pia  (2022) Situating language register across the ages, languages, modalities, and cultural aspects: Evidence from complementary methods In: Frontiers in Psychology [DOI] [ViVo]
    In the present review paper by members of the collaborative research center ‘Register: Language Users’ Knowledge of SituationalFunctional Variation’ (CRC 1412), we assess the pervasiveness of register phenomena across different time periods, languages, modalities, and cultures. We define ‘register’ as recurring variation in language use depending on the function of language and on the social situation. Informed by rich data, we aim to better understand and model the knowledge involved in situation- and function-based use of language register. In order to achieve this goal, we are using complementary methods and measures. In the review, we start by clarifying the concept of ‘register’, by reviewing the state of the art, and by setting out our methods and modeling goals. Against this background, we discuss three key challenges, two at the methodological level and one at the theoretical level: 1. To better uncover registers in text and spoken corpora, we propose changes to established analytical approaches. 2. To tease apart between-subject variability from the linguistic variability at issue (intra-individual situation based register variability), we use within-subject designs and the modeling of individuals’ social, language, and educational background. 3. We highlight a gap in cognitive modeling, viz. modeling the mental representations of register (processing), and present our first attempts at filling this gap. We argue that the targeted use of multiple complementary methods and measures supports investigating the pervasiveness of register phenomena and yields comprehensive insights into the cross-methodological robustness of register-related language variability. These comprehensive insights in turn provide a solid foundation for associated cognitive modeling.
  • Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Maquate, Katja; Ito, Aine; Knoeferle, Pia  (2022) Effects of situation formality on spoken language comprehension of register In: HSP 2022, UC Santa Cruz [ViVo]

    During comprehension, listeners can draw upon different sources of non-linguistic information for reference resolution and structural disambiguation (e.g., Tanenhaus et al., 1995). While non-linguistic information plays an active role in extant accounts of sentence processing, social-context effects (e.g., formality of a situation and register) have received little attention (but see van Berkum, et al., 2008). The present eye-tracking pilot study (n=9, 34 critical items, 64 fillers) examines whether (i) formality conveyed by a linguistic context can rapidly affect the visual interrogation of object photographs and associated comprehension processes; (ii) congruence of verb-argument meaning rapidly affects comprehension; and (iii) congruence in context formality and register interacts with semantic verb-argument congruence (testing to what extent we can assume a single conceptual store and closely-linked mental representation that encompasses register information).

    Method and Design: Using the Visual World Paradigm (Figure 1), we examine native German speakers' comprehension of register variants (Latschencolloquial vs. Schuhestandard transl:.‘shoes’) in a formality (mis)matching context sentence, given the object argument either matches or mismatches verb meaning constraints (e.g. Ich binde schnell meine Schuhe/Latschen/*Kleidung/*Klamotten, transt.: ‘I’m about to tie my shoesstandard/ shoescoll/ *clothesstandard/ *clothescoll’). (Mis)matches are assessed two-fold: context formality-target register (Table 1) and semantic verb-argument congruence (1a,1b vs. 2a,2b).

    Hypotheses: At the verb region, if participants are sensitive to formality-register and verb- argument congruence we expect more looks to the formality-register and verb-argument matching object when it matches the formality-register and verb-meaning constraints than when it mismatches either or both. If they are sensitive to verb-argument congruence irrespective of formality-register congruence, we predict greater fixations to the object referent in the verb-argument congruent condition irrespective of whether it matches or mismatches the formality of the context sentence. In the post-verbal object noun region, if formality-register congruence rapidly modulates visual attention to the objects and associated comprehension, we expect more looks to the object referent in the formality- register matching (Full match; Verb-Argument mismatch) than mismatching conditions. If fixations to the object referent are modulated by verb-argument congruence (main effects of verb-argument congruence) independent of formality-register congruence, we should likewise see more looks to the object referent in the verb-argument matching than mismatching conditions (Full match; Register mismatch). Moreover, if formality-register and verb-argument congruence interact during the post-verbal object noun region, how verb- argument congruence is processed may depend on formality-register congruence. The latter might indicate that standard language processing mechanisms are in close interaction with register representations, supporting the interpretation of a single conceptual store and set of mechanisms.

    Preliminary Analyses and Results: Linear mixed-effects models were fitted to the empirical-logit transformed fixation proportions to the verb-argument (mis)matching and formality-register (mis)matching objects at the verb region, and to the object noun referent for each condition at the post-verbal object noun region. Preliminary results of the pilot study show a main effect of verb-argument congruency, indicating that verb-argument relations are computed and used immediately in on-line language comprehension, yet no main effects of formality-register congruency were found in the verb and post-verbal object noun region. Our analysis also revealed an interaction of formality-register and verb-argument congruency in the verb-region and post-verbal object noun region (Figure 2). These findings taken together imply that situation-formality might indeed modulate the processing of verb-argument congruence, possibly indicating that standard language processing mechanisms are in close interaction with register representations. Given the low power of our pilot, these results need to be interpreted with caution. The main experiment with 32 participants is underway.

  • Patarroyo, Angela Giovanna; Maquate, Katja; Ito, Aine; Knoeferle, Pia  (2022) Investigating the effect of situation-formality on spoken language comprehension of register In: IMPRS CONFERENCE 2022 [ViVo]

    During comprehension, listeners can draw upon different sources of non-linguistic information for reference resolution and structural disambiguation. While non-linguistic information plays an active role in extant accounts of sentence processing, social-context effects (e.g., of situation-formality on register processing) have received little attention. This eye-tracking pilot study (n=9, 34 critical items) examines whether (i) formality conveyed by a linguistic context can rapidly affect the visual interrogation of objects and associated comprehension processes; (ii) congruence of verb-argument meaning rapidly affects comprehension; and (iii) congruence in context formality and register interacts with semantic verb-argument congruence (testing to what extent we can assume a single conceptual store and closely-linked mental representation that encompasses register information).

    Hypotheses: If participants are sensitive to formality-register and verb-argument congruence we expect this to manifest in eye gaze (more looks to formality-register and verb-argument matching than mismatching objects in a Visual-World paradigm, closely time-locked to an object argument conveying semantic information about register and permitting the computation of verb-argument congruence). The inclusion of these two factors permits us to assess not only questions (i) and (ii) but also (iii), via the presence or absence of a factorial interaction.

    Results: Lmer results (n=9) show a main effect of verb-argument congruence but no main effect of formality-register congruence at the region between the verb onset and object -argument offset, indicating that verb-argument relations are computed and used rapidly in on-line language comprehension. Our analysis also revealed an interaction of formality-register and verb-argument congruence. These findings suggest that situation-formality might modulate the processing of verb-argument congruence, indicating that standard language processing mechanisms are in close interaction with register representations. The main experiment is underway (n=32).