Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of Language & … Fellows Prof. Dr. Herbert H. Clark

Prof. Dr. Herbert H. Clark

Stanford University
Okt. - Dez. 2012

Vergangene FRIAS-Aufenthalte

  • Okt. - Dez. 2012



Herbert H. Clark is Albert Ray Lang Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. He is author of several books on language use, including Psychology and Language (with Eve V. Clark), Arenas of Language Use, and Using Language. He is also author of over a hundred journal articles and chapters in both psychology and linguistics.
Clark’s research has focused on speaking and understanding in everyday conversation. Early on he worked on negation, spatial and temporal expressions, word innovations, and given and new information. Then he took up the notion of common ground and how it was used in definite reference, demonstrative reference, and vocabulary. With colleagues he developed the notion of grounding—the process by which people establish common ground in conversation. He has also studied indirect speech acts, quotation, pointing at and placing things, and speech disfluencies such as “uh” and “um” and repeated words. He is also author of a well-known critique of statistics in research on language.    
Clark was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. And he received a life-time achievement award from the Society for Text and Discourse.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

Monographien und Herausgeberschaften

  • Clark, H. H. (1976). Semantics and comprehension. The Hague: Mouton.
  • Clark, H. H., & Clark, E. V. (1977). Psychology and language: An introduction to psycholinguistics. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  • Clark, H. H. (1992). Arenas of language use. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Clark, H. H. (1996). Using language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  • Clark, H. H., and Brennan, S. A. (1991). Grounding in communication. In L.B. Resnick, J.M. Levine, & S.D. Teasley (Eds.). Perspectives on socially shared cognition. Washington: APA Books.
  • Clark, H. H. (1973). The language-as-fixed-effect fallacy: A critique of language statistics in psychological research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 12, 335-359. [A Citation Classic]
  • Clark, H. H., & Wilkes-Gibbs, D. (1986). Referring as a collaborative process. Cognition, 22, 1-39.
  • Clark, H. H., & Marshall, C. R. (1981). Definite reference and mutual knowledge. In A. K. Joshi, B. Webber, & I. Sag (Eds.), Elements of discourse understanding (pp. 10-63). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Reprinted in G. T. M. Altmann (Ed.), (2002). Psycholinguistics: Critical concepts in psychology. London: Routledge.
  • Clark, H. H., & Schaefer, E. F. (1989). Contributing to discourse. Cognitive Science, 13, 259-294.
  • Clark, H. H., & Haviland, S. E. (1977). Comprehension and the given-new contract. In R. O. Freedle (Ed.), Discourse production and comprehension (pp. 1-40). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Clark, H. H. (1973). Space, time, semantics, and the child. In T. Moore (Ed.), Cognitive development and the acquisition of language (27-63). New York: Academic Press.
  • Haviland, S. E., & Clark, H. H. (1974). What’s new? Acquiring new information as a process in comprehension. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 512- 521.
  • Schober, M. F., & Clark, H. H. (1989). Understanding by addressees and overhearers. Cognitive Psychology, 21, 211-232. Reprinted in: F. Katamba (Ed.), Critical concepts in linguistics, vol. 5: Morphology: its relation to semantics and the lexicon. London: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 128-183.
  • Clark, H. H., & Chase, W. G. (1972). On the process of comparing sentences against pictures. Cognitive Psychology, 3, 472-517.
  • Clark, E. V., & Clark, H. H. (1979). When nouns surface as verbs. Language, 55, 767-811.
  • Clark, H. H. (1969). Linguistic processes in deductive reasoning. Psychological Review, 76, 387-404.
  • Clark, H. H. (1975). Bridging. In R. C. Schank & B. L. Nash-Webber (Eds.), Theoretical issues in natural language processing. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Brennan, S. E. & Clark, H. H. (1996) Conceptual pacts and lexical choice in conversation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, 1482-1493.
  • Isaacs, E. A., & H. H. Clark. (1987). References in conversations between experts and novices. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 116, 26-37.
  • Clark, H. H., & Gerrig, R. J. (1990). Quotations as demonstrations. Language, 66, 764-805.
  • Clark, H. H., & Carlson, T. B. (1982). Hearers and speech acts. Language, 58, 332-373.
  • Clark, H. H. (1979). Responding to indirect speech acts. Cognitive Psychology, 11, 430-477.
  • Clark, H. H. (1985). Language use and language users. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (3rd ed., pp. 179-231). New York: Harper and Row.
  • Clark, H. H., & Schaefer, E. F. (1987). Collaborating on contributions to conversation. Language and Cognitive Processes, 2, 19-41.
  • Clark, H. H., & Sengul, C. J. (1979). In search of referents for nouns and pronouns. Memory and Cognition, 7, 35-41.
  • Clark, H. H., and Schober, M. F. (1992). Asking questions and influencing answers. In J. M. Tanur (Ed.). Questions about questions: Inquiries into the cognitive bases of surveys. New York: Russell Sage.
  • Clark, H. H., & Carlson, T. B. (1981). Context for comprehension. In J. Long & A. Baddeley (Eds.), Attention and performance IX (pp. 313-330). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Clark, H. H. & Lucy, P. (1975). Understanding what is meant from what is said: A study in conversationally conveyed requests. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 14, 56-72.
  • Clark, H. H., & Gerrig, R. J. (1984). On the pretense theory of irony. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 113, 121-126.
  • Clark, H. H. & Krych, M. A. (2004). Speaking while monitoring addressees for understanding. Journal of Memory and Language, 50(1), 62-81.
  • Clark, H. H., & Wasow, T. (1998). Repeating words in spontaneous speech. Cognitive Psychology, 37, 201-242.
  • Clark, H. H., & Schunk, D. H. (1980). Polite responses to polite requests. Cognition, 8, 111-143.


Depicting as a method of communicating in everyday discourse
In everyday discourse, people communicate not only by speaking, but by using their hands, arms, head, face, eyes, and body. This has led to a distinction between two modalities of communication—speech and gesture, or verbal and non-verbal communication. But literary studies since Plato have also distinguished two methods of communicating—telling and showing (Plato’s diegesis and mimesis). In telling, people report, describe, or narrate scenes, whereas in showing, they enact or illustrate them.
Telling and showing are just as important in everyday discourse. Consider three excerpts from a lecture on piano playing by an eminent musician MB:
(1)    We can play loud. We can play soft.      
(2)    But “[singing-gesturing] dee-duh dum” has this little “[in-breath gasp]” in it, which is so nice.      
(3)    This [spreading out two hands toward a piano] is a late eighteenth century Viennese piano.
Example 1 is an instance of telling, in which MB describes piano playing as loud and soft by using the words “loud” and “soft.” Example 2 contains an instance of showing, in which MB depicts a certain segment of piano playing by singing syllables. Example 3 illustrates yet another method, indicating, in which MB indicates a piano by pointing at it. Describing-as, depicting, and indicating are three distinct methods of communicating.
When people think of depicting, they tend to think of material artifacts such as paintings, sculptures, or even movies. These are exhibitive depictions, which people create to exhibit to others, and these normally play little role in everyday discourse. Yet there are also performative depictions, which people perform with their hands, arms, face, eyes, heads, bodies, and voices, and these do play a role in everyday discourse. These include hand gestures (such as drawing route directions in the air), facial gestures (grimacing at bad news), quotations (“François said, ‘Je vais partir’”), and demonstrations (modeling a tennis serve).
Performative depictions, I suggest, are as central to everyday discourse as are describing-as and indicating. My goal is to account for their role in everyday discourse.