The first step in our OSU-Rochester collaboration on socially-mediated syntactic alignment has been submitted a couple of weeks ago. Kodi Weatherholtz in Linguistics at The Ohio State University took the lead in this project together with Kathryn Campbell-Kibler (same department) and me.
We collected spoken picture descriptions via Amazon’s crowdsourcing platform Mechanical Turk to investigate how social attitude towards an interlocutor and conflict management styles affected syntactic priming. Our paradigm combines aspects of psycholinguistic paradigms and manipulations that are more commonly used in social psychology and sociolinguistics. Attitude was manipulated through a politically charged diatribe delivered by speakers differing in accent standardness. Syntactic priming was assessed in an independent picture description after exposure to the diatribe.
The predictors derived from this analysis were used to investigate how speaker attitude towards the interlocutor and conflict management styles affected the degree of alignment. We discuss the consequences for accounts of syntactic alignment — both in psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics/social psychology.
- Weatherholtz, K., Campell-Kibler, K., and Jaeger, T.F. submitted. Socially-mediated syntactic alignment.
Given that the journal we submitted to conducts peer review by sending out paper copies to reviewers (sic), we probably will have a few months before revisions. Your comments are welcome. Please feel free to direct them at any of us (or leave them as comments to this page). For example, one question that comes up in the general discussion relates to the extent to which attention has been found to modulate priming. I sent a few emails at that point to experts in syntactic priming but –like me– nobody could really think of any paper that directly addressed this question. If you know any work that would be relevant to this question, please let us know!