The time-course of processing discourse connectives

Abstract

While there is some evidence that causal discourse rela- tions are processed incrementally, the time-course of compre- hending concessive discourse markers (e.g., nevertheless) has hardly been investigated. Given that concessives are often de- fined as negative causals, there may be similarities between the processing of concessives and negations (e.g., a delay). This paper investigates the time-course of processing causal versus concessive discourse markers in German within both a visual-world experiment and a reading experiment. We find that while concessive discourse markers can be processed rapidly if the context is constraining enough, there is a delay compared to causal contexts.


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