Juliane Schwab

Universität Tübingen

Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft

Juliane Schwab is a post-doctoral researcher (“Akademische Rätin”) at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Tübingen. She is also a PhD student within the DFG-funded Research Training Group Computational Cognition working on the processing and acquisition of polarity items from psycho- and neurolinguistic perspectives. In her research, she is broadly interested in language processing at the sentence and discourse level, and in the semantics and pragmatics of natural language. Sie ist assoziiertes Mitglied des SFB1412-Projekts A07: Pragmatic Functions and Effects of Register Variation and Switch: a Register approach to negation and polarity.

Projects

A07 Pragmatic Functions and Effects of Register Variation and Switch: a Register approach to negation and polarity

Contact

juliane.schwab@uni-tuebingen.deWebsite

Publications & Presentations

    Publications

  • Schwab, Juliane; Liu, Mingya  (2022) Processing Attenuating NPIs in Indicative and Counterfactual Conditionals In: Frontiers in Psychology [DOI] [ViVo]
    Both indicative and counterfactual conditionals are known to be licensing contexts for negative polarity items (NPIs). However, a recent theoretical account suggests that the licensing of attenuating NPIs like English all that in the conditional antecedent is sensitive to pragmatic differences between various types of conditionals. We conducted three behavioral experiments in order to test key predictions made by that proposal. In Experiment 1, we tested hypothetical indicative and counterfactual conditionals with the English NPI all that, finding that the NPI is degraded in the former compared to the latter. In Experiment 2, we compared hypothetical indicative conditionals and premise conditionals with the same NPI, again finding a degradation only for the former. Both results align with theoretically derived predictions purporting that hypothetical indicative conditionals are degraded due to their susceptibility to conditional perfection. Finally, Experiment 3 provides empirical evidence that comprehenders readily strengthen counterfactual conditionals to biconditionals, in line with theoretical analyses that assume that conditional perfection and counterfactual inferences are compatible. Their ability to still host attenuating NPIs in the conditional antecedent, by contrast, falls into place via the antiveridical inference to the falsity of the antecedent. Altogether, our study sheds light on the interplay between NPI licensing and the semantic and pragmatic properties of various types of conditionals. Moreover, it provides a novel perspective on the processing of different kinds of conditionals in context, in particular, with regard to their (non)veridicality properties.
  • Dudschig, Caroline; Kaup, Barbara; Liu, Mingya; Schwab, Juliane  (2021) The Processing of Negation and Polarity: An Overview In: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research [DOI] [ViVo]
    Negation is a universal component of human language; polarity sensitivity (i.e., lexical distributional constraints in relation to negation) is arguably so while being pervasive across languages. Negation has long been a field of inquiry in psychological theories and experiments of reasoning, which inspired many follow-up studies of negation and negation-related phenomena in psycholinguistics. In generative theoretical linguistics, negation and polarity sensitivity have been extensively studied, as the related phenomena are situated at the interfaces of syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and are thus extremely revealing about the architecture of grammar. With the now long tradition of research on negation and polarity in psychology and psycholinguistics, and the emerging field of experimental semantics and pragmatics, a multitude of interests and experimental paradigms have emerged which call for re-evaluations and further development and integration. This special issue contains a collection of 16 research articles on the processing of negation and negation-related phenomena including polarity items, questions, conditionals, and irony, using a combination of behavioral (e.g., rating, reading, eye-tracking and sentence completion) and neuroimaging techniques (e.g., EEG). They showcase the processing of negation and polarity with or without context, in various languages and across different populations (adults, typically developing and ADHD children). The integration of multiple theoretical and empirical perspectives in this collection provides new insights, methodological advances and directions for future research.
  • Schwab, Juliane; Liu, Mingya; Mueller, Jutta L.  (2021) On the Acquisition of Polarity Items: 11- to 12-Year-Olds' Comprehension of German NPIs and PPIs In: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research [DOI] [ViVo]
    AbstractExisting work on the acquisition of polarity-sensitive expressions (PSIs) suggests that children show an early sensitivity to the restricted distribution of negative polarity items (NPIs), but may be delayed in the acquisition of positive polarity items (PPIs). However, past studies primarily targeted PSIs that are highly frequent in children’s language input. In this paper, we report an experimental investigation on children’s comprehension of two NPIs and two PPIs in German. Based on corpus data indicating that the four tested PSIs are present in child-directed speech but rare in young children’s utterances, we conducted an auditory rating task with adults and 11- to 12-year-old children. The results demonstrate that, even at 11–12 years of age, children do not yet show a completely target-like comprehension of the investigated PSIs. While they are adult-like in their responses to one of the tested NPIs, their responses did not demonstrate a categorical distinction between licensed and unlicensed PSI uses for the other tested expressions. The effect was led by a higher acceptance of sentences containing unlicensed PSIs, indicating a lack of awareness for their distributional restrictions. The results of our study pose new questions for the developmental time scale of the acquisition of polarity items.
  • Presentations

  • Liu, Mingya; Beese, Caroline; Gruber, Thomas; Mueller, Jutta; Schwab, Juliane  (2022) Testing predictive and integrative neural mechanisms in the processing of negative polarity items In: HSP 2022, UC Santa Cruz [ViVo]