A multi-method approach to estimating subjectivity of causal connectives: the case of poetomu and tak chto in Russian
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Cross-linguistic evidence suggests that languages often employ specialized causal connectives to express subjective versus objective relations. Although there are both established and emerging methodologies used for investigating this phenomenon, little attention has been paid to obtaining converging evidence from several methods, at the same time discerning the different aspects of connective specialization in subjectivity that they elucidate. The present study addressed this issue by developing and testing a multi-method approach to investigating subjectivity profiles of causal connectives in a language and their effects on processing expectations. This approach was applied to the Russian forward causal connectives poetomu and tak chto, which have not been studied in this respect. In Study 1, the traditional corpus analysis and an innovative method of online connective insertion task were combined to characterize subjectivity profiles of the Russian causal connectives. In Study 2, an online sentence continuation task was used to tap into processing expectations triggered by the Russian causal connectives. The results of all the three methods provide converging evidence that tak chto expresses subjective relations and triggers subjective continuations more than poetomu. The differences between the results of different methods are discussed. The present study proves the importance of combining different methodologies for investigating subjectivity profiles of connectives in a language and contributes to the cross-linguistic field of research on subjectivity reflected in causal coherence markers.