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Hannah Rohde

I'm a Professor in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh.

Research Blurb:
I work in the area of experimental pragmatics, which addresses (from various vantage points) questions of how communication works in context. I'm interested in ambiguity — how messages get formulated and how listeners recover speakers' intended meaning. I've worked on topics such as reference, coherence, implicature, presupposition, and deception, typically using psycholinguistic methods to analyse language processing. This has been made possible via a number of nice collaborations with linguists, psychologists, and computer scientists.

My work focuses particularly on expectation-driven models in pragmatics. As has been demonstrated in other areas of human cognition, the ability to recognize and process certain outcomes depends in part on the ability to make predictions. Existing work on language has likewise found evidence that listeners make predictions about upcoming content at the levels of sounds, words, and syntax. Recent projects of mine have asked what cues listeners use to make predictions about where a discourse is going, what surface forms they expect a speaker to choose, and how such predictions influence the interpretation of the words they hear.