Partner-Specific Audience Design: Individual Differences in Working Memory
Patzelt, Emily L.
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Speakers engage in audience design when they construct their utterances for particular addressees and when they take into account common ground during utterance planning. Common ground refers to mutual knowledge that is known to be mutual by both interlocutors. Two approaches to audience design were tested: whether it is an emergent feature of ordinary working memory (WM) processes or whether it is a specialized sub-process of verbal WM. The present experiment was based on the game paradigm by Swets, Jacovina, and Gerrig (2009, unpublished manuscript), wherein college students took verbal and domain-general WM tests, then performed a referential communication task. Directors first instructed 2 Matchers to rearrange items in a grid. The key rounds were the second set in which the Directors described items entrained with both Matchers. The investigators incorporated individual differences in WM along with eye tracking measures in order to examine how high-span Directors engaged in partner-specific audience design, and the. resource costs of the task. Preliminary results from temporal and quantitative analyses of Directors' speech demonstrated a trend toward entrainment with both addressees but occasional failures to exercise audience design in their continued usage of already-entrained phrases with new referents to the current addressee.