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Reframing Reformulation: A Theoretical-Experimental Approach

Evidence from the Spanish Discourse Marker "o sea"


Shima Salameh Jiménez

Reformulation studies offer a recent debate on reformulation and its semasiological-onomasiological treatment. Some researchers argue for a clear distinction between reformulation and other functions such as conclusion or correction; others defend the existence of different subtypes of reformulation based on such other functions, which are expressed by the same group of discourse markers in different languages. Both approaches are valid although their arguments and theoretical basis are opposed. The book presents an Eye-Tracking proposal to complement this debate experimentally. Results support an onomasiological approach to reformulation since experimental boundaries for each function (paraphrase, reformulation, conclusion and correction) have been detected.

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Chapter 4 Reframing reformulation through eye-tracking experiments: Experiment design


Chapter 4Reframing reformulation through eye-tracking experiments: Experiment design


An experimental design for an eye-tracking study requires several steps to be followed (Godfroid, 2019). Given that studying reformulation and neighboring categories through eye-tracking techniques constitutes an innovative approach in the field (López Serena & Loureda, 2013), the explanation of the experimental design carried out in this research is even more important. In this sense, the purposes of this chapter are key: (i) it formulates the hypotheses testing the theory previously presented in Chapters 1 and 2; (ii) it establishes the conditions to operationalize such hypotheses; (iii) it addresses the creation of materials to test hypotheses and research questions with real speakers; and (iv) it presents the statistical treatment employed, which also involves a new way to account for quantitative data. Three sections carry out these purposes:

-Section § 4.2. suggests two groups of hypotheses for this research: temporal hypotheses (§ 4.2.1.) and movement hypotheses (§ 4.2.2.). These hypotheses are based on two information sources: the duration of the reading movements (first pass, second pass, and total reading time) and the type of eye movements produced (fixations, saccades, regressions, and their corresponding subcategories).

-Section § 4.3. focuses on the data obtention. To obtain data, researchers compile a corpus or create contents to be experimentally tested. In the latter case, contexts and utterances must be designed. However, such materials cannot be randomly created. They should resemble natural language. In this regard, some decisions have been taken before...

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