Doubling up on double meanings: Pragmatic alignment


Garrod and Pickering (2004) maintain that conversation is easy because automatic alignment occurs at various levels during conversation. Other related theories of alignment have also been proposed for emotional/mood alignment (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994). Though there is a large literature on pragmatics in discourse, there is as of yet no experimental demonstration that this level also undergoes alignment. Two experiments test the impact of the use of indirect language by a pseudo-confederate on participant contributions to interaction. Overall, individuals coordinate during interaction at the level of pragmatics (Experiment 1), and this is not explained merely by mood inducement through content of a double meaning (Experiment 2). We discuss findings in terms of psycholinguistic alignment and emotional contagion. © 2012 Copyright Psychology Press Ltd.

Publication Title

Language and Cognitive Processes