Pause Length and Differences in Cognitive State Attribution in Native and Non-Native Speakers

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dc.contributor.author Matzinger, Theresa
dc.contributor.author Pleyer, Michael
dc.contributor.author Żywiczyński, Przemysław
dc.date.accessioned 2023-09-19T18:42:37Z
dc.date.available 2023-09-19T18:42:37Z
dc.date.issued 2023-01-13
dc.identifier.citation Languages 8 (1), 26
dc.identifier.other https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010026
dc.identifier.uri http://repozytorium.umk.pl/handle/item/6916
dc.description.abstract Speech pauses between turns of conversations are crucial for assessing conversation partners’ cognitive states, such as their knowledge, confidence and willingness to grant requests; in general, speakers making longer pauses are regarded as less apt and willing. However, it is unclear if the interpretation of pause length is mediated by the accent of interactants, in particular native versus non-native accents. We hypothesized that native listeners are more tolerant towards long pauses made by non-native speakers than those made by native speakers. This is because, in non-native speakers, long pauses might be the result of prolonged cognitive processing when planning an answer in a non-native language rather than of a lack of knowledge, confidence or willingness. Our experiment, in which 100 native Polish-speaking raters rated native and non-native speakers of Polish on their knowledge, confidence and willingness, showed that this hypothesis was confirmed for perceived willingness only; non-native speakers were regarded as equally willing to grant requests, irrespective of their inter-turn pause durations, whereas native speakers making long pauses were regarded as less willing than those making short pauses. For knowledge and confidence, we did not find a mediating effect of accent; both native and non-native speakers were rated as less knowledgeable and confident when making long pauses. One possible reason for the difference between our findings on perceived willingness to grant requests versus perceived knowledge and confidence is that requests might be more socially engaging and more directly relevant for interpersonal cooperative interactions than knowledge that reflects on partners’ competence but not cooperativeness. Overall, our study shows that (non-)native accents can influence which cognitive states are signaled by different pause durations, which may have important implications for intercultural communication settings where topics are negotiated between native and non-native speakers.
dc.description.sponsorship Theresa Matzinger was supported by a mobility fellowship of Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń and a Post-doc Track stipend from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Michael Pleyer was supported by grant UMO-2021/43/P/HS2/02729 co-funded by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 945339. Przemysław Żywiczyński was supported by the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) under grant agreement UMO-2017/27/B/HS2/00642. Open Access Funding by the University of Vienna.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher MDPI
dc.rights Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Poland
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/pl/
dc.subject speech pauses
dc.subject non-native accents
dc.subject knowledge
dc.subject confidence
dc.subject willingness
dc.subject cognitive state attribution
dc.title Pause Length and Differences in Cognitive State Attribution in Native and Non-Native Speakers
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article

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