When collaboration fails: Consequences of pragmatic errors in conversation


This study assessed pragmatic errors and how they affect the collaborative process of conversation. Specifically, these higher-level pragmatic errors were compared to lower-level phonological and lexical errors. Each type of error was embedded in short conversations which were either read or heard by subjects. Subjects were asked to provide speaker evaluations and realism ratings. They also were asked to recall the errors after a short delay. In all conversations that contained errors, speakers who made the errors were evaluated negatively. However, for those conversations that contained pragmatic errors, the listeners also were evaluated negatively. The results suggest that pragmatic errors must be examined in a collaborative context for their effects to be properly evaluated. © 1993.

Publication Title

Journal of Pragmatics