Skip to main content

Why we stimulate negated information: A dynamic pragmatic account

Tian, Ye, Breheny, Richard, Ferguson, Heather J. (2010) Why we stimulate negated information: A dynamic pragmatic account. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63 (12). pp. 2305-2312. ISSN 1747-0218. (doi:10.1080/17470218.2010.525712) (KAR id:26122)

Language: English
Download (296kB) Preview
[thumbnail of tian_etal_finalsub.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL


A well-established finding in the simulation literature is that participants simulate the positive argument of negation soon after reading a negative sentence, prior to simulating a scene consistent with the negated sentence (Kaup, Lu¨dtke, & Zwaan, 2006; Kaup, Yaxley, Madden, Zwaan, & Lu¨dtke, 2007). One interpretation of this finding is that negation requires two steps to process: first represent what is being negated then “reject” that in favour of a representation of a negation-consistent state of affairs (Kaup et al., 2007). In this paper we argue that this finding with negative sentences could be a byproduct of the dynamic way that language is interpreted relative to a common ground and not the way that negation is represented. We present a study based on Kaup et al. (2007) that tests the competing accounts. Our results suggest that some negative sentences are not processed in two steps, but provide support for the alternative, dynamic account.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17470218.2010.525712
Uncontrolled keywords: Negation, Language comprehension, Simulation, Pragmatics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Heather Ferguson
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2010 10:44 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ferguson, Heather J.:
  • Depositors only (login required):