Polar Express: Polar Question Forms Expressing Bias-Evidence Conflicts in Italian

Maria Di Maro, Antonio Origlia, Francesco Cutugno


Past research has concentrated on the use of different forms of polar questions in specific contexts, defined in terms of the relationship between original bias and contextual evidence. It has been showed that, for English and German, people tend to prefer specific forms given the pragmatic context. Based on previous experiments, in this work, we observe that the same tendencies occur in Italian. Also, we adopt a more refined experimental setup with three different tasks and a more natural evaluation scale to better capture nuances in appropriateness evaluations, provided by human subjects, which therefore reflects the more realistic one-to-many relationship among forms and functions. In fact, the results show how specific forms of polar questions are especially typical of situations where the bias has the opposite value with respect to the evidence, i.e., in positive bias versus negative evidence, for which a high negative polar question in the past tense was more frequently selected by the subjects (Note 1). 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v13i4.18871

Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Di Maro, Antonio Origlia, Francesco Cutugno

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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