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Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, September 2015
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
12 news outlets
blogs
3 blogs
twitter
146 tweeters
facebook
2 Facebook pages
googleplus
2 Google+ users
reddit
1 Redditor

Readers on

mendeley
66 Mendeley
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Title
Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems
Published in
PLoS ONE, September 2015
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0136100
Pubmed ID
Authors

Mark Dingemanse, Seán G. Roberts, Julija Baranova, Joe Blythe, Paul Drew, Simeon Floyd, Rosa S. Gisladottir, Kobin H. Kendrick, Stephen C. Levinson, Elizabeth Manrique, Giovanni Rossi, N. J. Enfield, Dingemanse, Mark, Roberts, Seán G, Baranova, Julija, Blythe, Joe, Drew, Paul, Floyd, Simeon, Gisladottir, Rosa S, Kendrick, Kobin H, Levinson, Stephen C, Manrique, Elizabeth, Rossi, Giovanni, Enfield, N J, Sonja Kotz, Dingemanse, M, Roberts, SG, Baranova, J, Blythe, J, Drew, P, Floyd, S, Gisladottir, RS, Kendrick, KH, Levinson, SC, Manrique, E, Rossi, G, Enfield, NJ

Abstract

There would be little adaptive value in a complex communication system like human language if there were no ways to detect and correct problems. A systematic comparison of conversation in a broad sample of the world's languages reveals a universal system for the real-time resolution of frequent breakdowns in communication. In a sample of 12 languages of 8 language families of varied typological profiles we find a system of 'other-initiated repair', where the recipient of an unclear message can signal trouble and the sender can repair the original message. We find that this system is frequently used (on average about once per 1.4 minutes in any language), and that it has detailed common properties, contrary to assumptions of radical cultural variation. Unrelated languages share the same three functionally distinct types of repair initiator for signalling problems and use them in the same kinds of contexts. People prefer to choose the type that is the most specific possible, a principle that minimizes cost both for the sender being asked to fix the problem and for the dyad as a social unit. Disruption to the conversation is kept to a minimum, with the two-utterance repair sequence being on average no longer that the single utterance which is being fixed. The findings, controlled for historical relationships, situation types and other dependencies, reveal the fundamentally cooperative nature of human communication and offer support for the pragmatic universals hypothesis: while languages may vary in the organization of grammar and meaning, key systems of language use may be largely similar across cultural groups. They also provide a fresh perspective on controversies about the core properties of language, by revealing a common infrastructure for social interaction which may be the universal bedrock upon which linguistic diversity rests.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 146 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 66 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 2 3%
United States 2 3%
United Kingdom 1 2%
Luxembourg 1 2%
Belgium 1 2%
Hungary 1 2%
Colombia 1 2%
Unknown 57 86%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 32%
Student > Master 9 14%
Professor 8 12%
Student > Bachelor 8 12%
Researcher 6 9%
Other 14 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Linguistics 24 36%
Psychology 15 23%
Social Sciences 8 12%
Arts and Humanities 5 8%
Philosophy 2 3%
Other 12 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 221. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 November 2017.
All research outputs
#34,627
of 8,769,477 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#905
of 118,834 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#1,373
of 221,718 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#43
of 5,831 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,769,477 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 118,834 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 221,718 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5,831 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.