Ted J.M. Sanders

Ted J.M. Sanders
Utrecht University | UU · Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS (UiL OTS)

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248
Publications
67,351
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5,128
Citations

Publications

Publications (248)
Article
This contribution aims at offering a state of the art about experimental research on mechanisms for referential and relational coherence, pivotal for the construction of discourse in the interlocutors’ aim to recover of a relevant assumption in communication. The construction of discourse is a cognitive ‘activity’ that consists in decoding linguist...
Article
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While the use of narrative elements in educational texts seems to be an adequate means to enhance students’ engagement and comprehension, we know little about how and to what extent these elements are used in the present-day educational practice. In this quantitative corpus-based analysis, we chart how and when narrative elements are used in curren...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When annotating coherence relations, inter-annotator agreement tends to be lower on implicit relations than on relations that are explicitly marked by means of a connective or a cue phrase. This paper explores one possible explanation for this: the additional inferencing involved in interpreting implicit relations compared to explicit relations. If...
Article
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This article aims to further test the cognitive claims of the so-called subjectivity account of causal events and their linguistic markers, causal connectives. We took Mandarin Chinese, a language that is typologically completely different from the usual western languages, as a case to provide evidence for this subjectivity account. Complementary t...
Article
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In this study, we analyze the meaning and use of Mandarin causal connectives kějiàn ‘therefore/it can be seen that’, suǒyǐ ‘so’, yīncǐ ‘for this reason’, and yúshì ‘thereupon/as a result’ in terms of causality and subjectivity. We adopt an integrated approach to subjectivity and analyze the subjectivity profile of a causal construction in terms of...
Article
With the increasing availability of large corpora, quantitative corpus analysis is becoming more and more popular as a method for conducting linguistic research. This paper uses a new research tool (cesar) that makes it possible to search syntactically annotated corpora without extensive programming knowledge to study the subjectivity patterns of f...
Article
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Interpreting subjectivity in causal relations takes effort: Subjective, claim-argument relations are read slower than objective, cause-consequence relations. In an eye-tracking-while-reading experiment, we investigated whether connectives and stance markers can play a facilitative role. Sixty-five Chinese participants read sentences expressing a su...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that it requires less time to process information that is part of an objective causal relation describing states of affairs in the world ( She was out of breath because she was running ), than information that is part of a subjective relation ( She must have been in a hurry because she was running ) expressing a claim or conclusi...
Article
Full-text available
Language users have preferences for the connectives they choose to express causal relations. These choices may depend on the subjectivity involved in the relation. Dutch connectives illustrate this situation clearly: want (‘since/for’) is preferred typically for expressing subjective relations and omdat (‘because’) for objective ones. While various...
Article
When processing a text, comprehenders use available cues to anticipate both upcoming content and the dependencies that comprise the structure of the growing discourse. In an eye-tracking while reading experiment, we test discourse updating in passages in which dependencies are implicit and the segments convey content that is not required to partici...
Article
Full-text available
Studies in several languages find that causal connectives differ from one another in their prototypical meaning and use , which provides insight into language users’ cognitive categorization of causal relations in discourse. Subjectivity plays a vital role in this process. Using an integrated subjectivity approach, this study aims to give a compreh...
Article
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Coherence relations are often assumed to hold between clauses, but restrictive relative clauses (RCs) are usually not granted discourse segment status because they are syntactically and conceptually integrated in their matrix clauses. This paper investigates whether coherence relations can be inferred between restrictive RCs and their matrix clause...
Article
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The current study investigated how a contextual list signal influences comprehenders’ inference generation of upcoming discourse relations and whether individual differences in working memory capacity and linguistic experience influence the generation of these inferences. Participants were asked to complete two-sentence stories, the first sentence...
Article
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This study explores how subjectivity is expressed in coherence relations, by means of a distinctive collocational analysis on two Chinese causal connectives: the specific subjective kejian 'so', used in subjective argument-claim relations, and the underspecified suoyi 'so', which can be used in both subjective argument-claim and objective cause-con...
Article
This study explores how subjectivity is expressed in coherence relations, by means of a distinctive collocational analysis on two Chinese causal connectives: the specific subjective kejian ‘so’, used in subjective argument-claim relations, and the underspecified suoyi ‘so’, which can be used in both subjective argument-claim and objective cause-con...
Article
Educational publishers often make their expository texts more vivid, by making them emotionally interesting, concrete and imagery-provoking, and proximate in a sensory, temporal, or spatial way. Previous studies have found mixed results regarding the effects of vividness on the attractiveness, comprehensibility, and memorability of educational text...
Article
Connectives and cue phrases are the most prototypical linguistic elements that signal coherence relations, but by limiting our attention to connectives, we are likely missing out on important other cues readers and listeners use when establishing coherence relations. However, defining the role of other types of linguistic elements in the signaling...
Article
This study aims to gain more insight into narrativity in the educational domain. Based on earlier research, we define three prototypical narrative elements (i.e., the presence of particularized events, an experiencing character, and a landscape of consciousness), and present an analytic model that illustrates how varying combinations of these eleme...
Article
Full-text available
The Cognitive approach to Coherence Relations (Sanders, Spooren, & Noordman, 1992) was originally proposed as a set of cognitively plausible primitives to order coherence relations, but is also increasingly used as a discourse annotation scheme. This paper provides an overview of new CCR distinctions that have been proposed over the years, summariz...
Article
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Causal relations can be presented as subjective, involving someone’s reasoning, or objective, depicting a real-world cause-consequence relation. Subjective relations require longer processing times than objective relations. We hypothesize that the extra time is due to the involvement of a Subject of Consciousness (SoC) in the mental representation...
Article
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Studies investigating the effect of connectives on comprehension have yielded different results, most likely because of differences in methodology and limited samples of texts and readers. We added and removed causal, temporal, contrastive, and additive connectives in 20 authentic Dutch texts. Dutch adolescents (n = 794) differing in reading profic...
Article
Full-text available
Although there are many methods available for assessing text comprehension, the cloze test is not widely acknowledged as one of them. Critiques on cloze testing center on its supposedly limited ability to measure comprehension beyond the sentence. However, these critiques do not hold for all types of cloze tests; the particular configuration of a c...
Article
Full-text available
Language users often infer a person’s gender when it is not explicitly mentioned. This information is included in the mental model of the described situation, giving rise to expectations regarding the continuation of the discourse. Such gender inferences can be based on two types of information: gender stereotypes (e.g., nurses are female) and masc...
Data
List of experimental stimuli and control items. (PDF)
Data
Total fixation duration for male and female proper names in male, female and neutral stereotype contexts. Condition means are given in log milliseconds. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals. (TIF)
Data
Ratings of activities used in stimuli and controls. Ratings range from 1 to 7, with 1 corresponding to female and 7 to male. (PNG)
Data
Mean reading times for the control items per condition, for the proper name region and spillover region. Means (M) and standard deviations (SD) given in milliseconds for first fixation duration (FFdur), first gaze duration (FGdur), regression path duration (RPdur) and total fixation duration (TFdur). (PNG)
Data
Regression path duration for male and female proper names in male, female and neutral stereotype contexts. Condition means are given in log milliseconds. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals. (TIF)
Data
Total fixation duration in the spillover region for male and female proper names, shown separately for male and female participants. Condition means are given in log milliseconds. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Corpus-based studies in various languages have demonstrated that some connectives are used preferentially to express subjective versus objective meanings, for example, omdat vs. want in Dutch. However, Spanish connectives have been understudied from this perspective. Moreover, most of the studies of subjectivity have focused on explicit relations a...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we show how three often used and seemingly different discourse annotation frameworks – Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB), Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), and Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT) – can be related by using a set of unifying dimensions. These dimensions are taken from the Cognitive approach to Coherence Rela...
Article
Full-text available
We present a lexicon of Dutch Discourse Connectives (DisCoDict). Its content was obtained using a two-step process, in which we first exploited a parallel corpus and a German seed lexicon, and then manually evaluated the candidate entries against existing connective resources for Dutch, using these resources to complete our lexicon. We compared con...
Article
Coherence relations can be made linguistically explicit by means of connectives (e.g., but, because) or cue phrases (e.g., on the other hand, which is why), but can also be left implicit and conveyed through the juxtaposition of two clauses or sentences. However, it seems that not all relations are equally easy to reconstruct when they are implicit...
Article
Causal relations between sentences differ in terms of subjectivity: they can be objective (based on facts) or subjective (based on reasoning). Subjective relations lead to longer reading times than objective relations. Causal connectives differ in the degree to which they encode this subjectivity. The Chinese connectives kejian ‘so’ and yin’er ‘so’...
Presentation
Full-text available
Cloze has never been widely accepted as a valid measure of text comprehension. We address the problems previously reported in literature and introduce an improved procedure: the HyTeC-cloze. The procedure was evaluated using data collected among 2855 Dutch secondary school students. The procedure matches and sometimes outperforms standardized tests...
Article
Full-text available
Causality and subjectivity are relevant cognitive principles in the categorization of coherence relations and connectives. Studies in various languages have shown how both notions can explain the meaning and use of different connectives. However, the Spanish language has been understudied from this perspective. Also, most of the existing research o...
Article
Full-text available
The difference between ‘car’ and ‘parce que’ is often explained in the literature by the type of causal relation (objective or subjective) that each connective prototypically conveys. Recent corpus studies have demonstrated, however, that this distinction does not hold in speech, and is fluctuating in writing. In this article, we present new empiri...
Article
Discourse segmentation is an important step in the process of annotating coherence relations. Ideally, implementing segmentation rules results in text segments that correspond to the units of thought related to each other. This paper demonstrates that accurate segmentation is in part dependent on the propositional content of text fragments, and tha...
Article
Previous studies show that respondents are generally more likely to disagree with negative survey questions (e.g., This is a bad book. Yes/No) than to agree with positive ones (e.g., This a good book. Yes/No). In the current research, we related this effect to the cognitive processes underlying question answering. Using eye-tracking, we show that d...
Article
Verhagen (2000) showed that Dutch causal connectives want (‘for’) and omdat (‘because’) differ in their intersubjective configuration: want expresses conceptual distance between speaker and other conceptualizers, while omdat does not. In this article we analyze how this difference is exploited stylistically in Dutch narrative fiction. We employ a c...
Poster
Full-text available
Eye movement data and text comprehension data of 47 Dutch ninth grade pre-vocational students were collected to investigate the effect of syntactic dependency length on on-line processing and text comprehension. Sentence reading times increased when dependency lengths increased. No effect of dependency length on text comprehension was found.
Article
Full-text available
Over the last decennia, annotating discourse coherence relations has gained increasing interest of the linguistics research community. Because of the complexity of coherence relations, there is no agreement on an annotation standard. Current annotation methods often lack a systematic order of coherence relations. In this article, we investigate the...
Article
Production studies show that both Russian-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) and bilingual children for whom Russian is a non-dominant language have difficulty distinguishing between the near-synonymous connectives i ‘and’ and a ‘and/but’. I is a preferred connective when reference is maintained, whereas a is normally used fo...
Chapter
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This chapter presents an experiment with 158 children, aged 10 to 12, in which search performance and attitudes towards an informational Website are investigated. The same Website was designed in 3 different types of interface design varying in playfulness of navigation structure and in playfulness of visual design. The type of interface design did...
Chapter
When people process an utterance, they need not only understand what it literally means, they also have to interpret the text in terms of speaker involvement: does an utterance convey a subjective opinion rather than a fact? Earlier research has shown that people take more time to process subjective causal relations, showing an opinion, than when t...
Article
Differences between monolinguals and bilinguals are often attributed to crosslinguistic influence. This paper compares production of discourse connectives by Dutch–Russian bilinguals (Dutch-dominant), typically-developing Dutch/Russian monolinguals and Russian-speaking children with SLI. If non-target-like production in bilinguals is due to crossli...
Article
In three eye-tracking experiments the influence of the Dutch causal connective 'want' (because) and the working memory capacity of readers on the usage of verb-based implicit causality was examined. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that although a causal connective is not required to activate implicit causality information during reading, effects of impl...
Article
Full-text available
Discourse connectives are important indicators of textual coherence, and mastering them is an essential part of acquiring a language. In this paper, we compare advanced learners’ sensitivity to the meaning conveyed by connectives in an off-line grammaticality judgment task and an on-line reading experiment using eye-tracking. We also assess the inf...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of language-impaired children to maintain coherence by using discourse connectives has so far been assessed by quantitative measures. This study is a first attempt to scrutinize the quality of connective use in SLI. We investigate whether Russian-speaking children reveal sensitivity to the subtle discourse-organizational distinctions be...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, aspects of the measurement of writing are disentangled in order to investigate the validity of inferences made on the basis of writing performance and to describe implications for the assessment of writing. To include genre as a facet in the measurement, we obtained writing scores of 12 texts in four different genres for each...
Article
Many young readers fail to construct a proper mental text representation, often due to a lack of higher-order skills such as making integrative and inferential links. In an eye-tracking experiment among 141 Dutch eighth graders, we tested whether coherence markers (moreover, after, because) improve students’ online processing and their off-line com...
Article
Full-text available
Causality is one of the most frequent coherence relations linking sentences together within texts and discourses, and mastering them is an essential part of acquiring a language. In this paper, we investigate the way French- and Dutch-speaking children acquire these relations depending on the way they are encoded in their mother tongue. From a cros...
Article
Many languages of the world have connectives to express causal relations at the discourse level. Often, language users systematically prefer one lexical item (because) over another (even highly similar) one (since) to express a causal relationship. Such choices provide a window on speakers' cognitive categorizations, and have been modeled in previo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Disfluencies, such as uh and uhm, are known to help the listener in speech comprehension. For instance, disfluencies may elicit prediction of less accessible referents and may trigger listeners' attention to the following word. However, recent work suggests differential processing of disfluencies in native and non-native speech. The current study i...
Article
When students read their school text, they may make a coherent mental representation of it that contains coherence relations between the text segments. The construction of such a representation is a prerequisite for learning from texts. This article focuses on the influence of connectives (therefore, furthermore) and layout (continuous placement of...
Article
Full-text available
Where native speakers supposedly are fluent by default, nonnative speakers often have to strive hard to achieve a nativelike fluency level. However, disfluencies (such as pauses, fillers, repairs, etc.) occur in both native and nonnative speech and it is as yet unclear how fluency raters weigh the fluency characteristics of native and nonnative spe...
Article
Full-text available
Speech comprehension involves extensive use of prediction. Linguistic prediction may be guided by the semantics or syntax, but also by the performance characteristics of the speech signal, such as disfluency. Previous studies have shown that listeners, when presented with the filler uh, exhibit a disfluency bias for discourse-new or unknown referen...