Rational Encoding and Decoding of Referring Expressions

Project C3

Project C3 investigates information-theoretic explanations of the encoding choices and comprehension difficulty in complex constructions.

We focus on visually situated comprehension of referring expressions, which allow us to examine key information-theoretic aspects of syntactic encoding in order to evaluate the predictions of both bounded (e.g., UID) and pragmatic (e.g., RSA) accounts of rational communication. We will test these predictions using empirical methods as well a neurocomputional modeling.

Keywords: comprehension, production, encoding, linear order, syntactic variation, surprisal, event-related potentials, eye-tracking