New experimental approaches to the Maxim of quantity

Team: Kazuko Yatsushiro (SSI, ZAS Berlin) and Napoleon Katsos (Cambridge)

It has been observed that adult speakers produce “over informative” utterances. This is not expected, according to pragmatic principles (of, e.g., Grice, and others). In this short-term collaboration with Napoleon Katsos (University of Cambridge), who has been investigating whether children and adults produce adjectives that are not necessary to make the sentence more informative, we will run experiments to examine the context and cause of over-informativity in adult production. Specifically, we will use the use of passive in relative clause environment to examine what allows adults to be overinformative.