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Givenness, procedural meaning and connectives: The case of French ‘puisque’.

Publikationsart Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)
Autor/in Zufferey Sandrine,
Projekt MODERN: Modeling discourse entities and relations for coherent machine translation
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Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)

Zeitschrift Journal of Pragmatics
Volume (Issue) 62(1)
Seite(n) 121 - 135
Titel der Proceedings Journal of Pragmatics


I argue that the communication of given information is part of the procedural instructions conveyed by some connectives like the French puisque. I submit in addition that the encoding of givenness has cognitive implications that are visible during online processing. I assess this hypothesis empirically by comparing the way the clauses introduced by two French causal connectives, puisque and parce que, are processed during online reading when the following segment is ‘given’ or ‘new’. I complement these results by an acceptability judgement task using the same sentences. These experiments confirm that introducing a clause conveying given information is a core feature characterizing puisque, as the segment following it is read faster when it contains given rather than new information, and puisque is rated as more acceptable than parce que in such contexts. I discuss the implications of these results for future research on the description of the meaning of connectives.