Posted by & filed under Member Publications.

The (randomly) selected focus publication for February 2019 is:

Park, K., & Dubinsky, S. (2019). The syntax and semantics of negative questions and answers in Korean and English. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 4, 19, 1-9. Washington DC: LSA. doi:10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4518


Differences in Korean and English negative polarity questions (NPQs) are revealed by the interpretation of simple yesno answers to them. Yesno answers to NPQs have seemingly unpredictable interpretations (Claus et al. 2017, Holmberg 2013, Kim 2017, Krifka 2017, Kramer & Rawlins 2009, Ladd 1981, Sudo 2013). However, one clearly observable fact is that yesno answers to English and Korean NPQs can have opposite interpretations. This study: (i) compares the interpretation of positive and negative polarity questions (PPQs and NPQs) in English and Korean; (ii) examines the structure of negation in each language and its interaction with NPQs, and (iii) reports on an online experiment which gathered native speaker interpretations of NPQs in each language under context-free conditions.

Posted by & filed under Member Opportunities.

The following books are available for review at the Journal of Language and Social Psychology. If you are interested in reviewing one of them, please contact Jake Harwood (JLSP book review editor: indicating which book(s), providing additional information on your interest and qualifications for reviewing, and giving a mailing address. Reviews range in length but have an absolute maximum of six double-spaced pages.  I can supply a copy of the book. Please don’t request a book unless you can make a firm commitment to actually write the review within three months. Thanks!

Duped: Truth-Default Theory and the Social Science of Lying and Deception (Levine)

Contemporary language motivation theory: 60 Years Since Gardner and Lambert (Al-Hoorie and MacIntyre (Eds.))

How language makes meaning: Embodiment and Conjoined Antonymy (Colston)

Multilingual construction of identity: German-Turkish Adolescents at School (Erduyan)

Language conflicts in contemporary Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine: A Comparative Exploration of Discourses in Post-Soviet Russian-Language Digital Media (Maksimovtsova)

Engaging and transforming global communication through cultural discourse analysis: A Tribute to Donal Carbaugh (Scollo and Milburn (Eds.))

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The (randomly) selected focus publication for December 2019 is:

Bernhold, Q.S., & Giles, H. (2018). Ethnic differences in grandparent-grandchild affectionate communication: An extension of affection exchange theory research. Communication Reports, 31, 188-202, 2018.


Researchers have repeatedly called for more careful attention to how ethnicity and culture influence grandparent–grandchild communication. Using affection exchange theory as our guiding lens, we examined how grandchildren’s perceptions of receiving affection from their grandparents differ according to grandparents’ ethnicity. After controlling for a range of potentially confounding factors, grandchildren of Asian American, European American, and Latina/o American grandparents differed in the love and esteem, caring, memories and humor, and celebratory affection they reported from grandparents. Grandparents’ ethnicity also moderated associations between love and esteem and closeness, as well as between memories and humor and closeness. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are considered.

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The (randomly) selected focus publication for November 2019 is:

Holtgraves, T., & Kraus, B. (2018). Processing scalar implicatures in conversational contexts: An ERP study. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 46, 93-108.


Scalar expressions are words that have both a semantic meaning (e.g., the semantic meaning of “some” is “more than one”) and a pragmatic meaning (e.g., the pragmatic meaning of “some” is “some but not all”). The majority of experimental research on scalar terms has focused on the quantity expression “some” and its use in nonconversational contexts. In contrast, in this research we examined five different scalar expressions that were embedded in a conversational context with varying degrees of face-threat. Participants read scenarios followed by a target utterance containing a scalar expression in the first half of the utterance (e.g., some), with a second half continuation of the utterance containing either the pragmatic meaning (e.g., not all) or the se- mantic meaning (e.g., all). ERPs in response to the scalar term and subsequent meaning were examined. Neural responses to the scalar term did not vary as a function of face-threat. However, the semantic meaning resulted in a larger P300 than did the pragmatic meaning, a difference that was greater when the situation was face-threatening than when it was not face-threatening. This pattern did not vary over the five different scalar expressions and suggests that in conversational contexts, it is the pragmatic meaning that is expected.