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SPAGAD Lecture Series: Processing indirect vs non-literal speech acts: insights from autism

Speaker Mikhail Kissine
Affiliaton(s) Université libre de Bruxelles
Date 31.03.2023, 16:00
Time 16:00 o'clock
Venue Online (see below)
Link to SPAGAD Lecture Series

Link to YouTube-Video of the talk­


The interpretation of indirect speech acts — and especially indirect requests — is often conceptualized in terms that appeal to the speaker’s perspective. This is especially true about non-conventional requests, such as, e.g. ‘I’m cold’ vs ‘Could you close the window’. This would put indirect requests on par with non-literal speech acts, such as irony. Drawing on experimental data from my lab, on autistic but also non-autistic individuals, I will argue that the processing of indirect speech acts does not appear to require shifting one’s perspective to that of the speaker. By contrast, successful comprehension of irony may require adopting the speaker’s perspective, even though this is not the interpretative strategy interpreters spontaneously favor. As a more applied leitmotiv, I will emphasize along the way the importance to design tasks that tap pragmatic processing, and not third party metalinguistic judgements.

Zoom Meeting-ID: 656 5811 2731