PS366 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Lexical Item, Microstructure, United States Academic Decathlon

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2 Feb 2013
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Psycholinguistics Chapter 7
1
introduction
o discourse happens in our daily lives
o each form has its own characteristics, but they all share certain properties
comprehension discourse
o local and global discourse structure
comprehension relies more on the arrangement than the individual meaning of the sentences
entirely possible for group of meaningful sentences to be randomly put together
o connections are sometimes left out if readers are able to infer them
John bought a cake. The card was signed by all the employees. party went on until after
midnight
we can assume that the cake and card were for the party
o two levels of discourse structure
local structure
microstructure
relationship between individual sentences in the discourse
global structure
macrostructure
knowledge of the structure corresponding to other information that enables us to
comprehend and remember the shorter passage about the information
o cohesion
categories of cohesion
reference
deals with how words are related to one another
semantic relation
he/she/it/his/her
gives cohesion between sentences
demonstratives such as
the, this, that and those
have the same purpose
substitution
replace one lexical item with another as an alternative to repeating the first
ellipsis
form of cohesion that is a special case of substitution, where we replace a
full sentence with nothing
conjunctive cohesion
relationships between phrases or sentences using conjunctions like : as, or,
but, yet and so
lexical cohesion
tie made between one sentence or phrase and another by virtue of the
lexical relationships between certain words in the sentence
anaphoric and cataphoric reference
anaphoric reference
cohesion where the current expression relates to the one encountered
earlier
expression used to refer back to something previously mentioned in discourse is
called an anaphor
previous referent is called an antecedent
cataphoric reference
expressions that refer to something in the next sentence or in future
sentences
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Psycholinguistics Chapter 7
2
distance between antecedent and anaphor may cause on a burden on working
memory, the farther the distance, the more strain it puts
o strategies used to establish coherence
given information
refers to info that author or speaker assumes the reader or listener already knows
new information
information that the comprehender is assumed to not know
most sentences contain both new and given information
given/new strategy
readers or listeners assume that authors will refer to information that readers already
know or can identify and to use new info to link concepts together
given/new strategy
3 steps
identify given and new information in sentence
find antecedent in memory for given information
attach new information to this spot in memory
sentences that mark new information with no antecedent should pose comprehension
difficulties
direct matching
attaching information about something to previous references to that object
simplest cases of sentence relations
finding antecedent is linked more to finding concept rather than specific word
matches of underlying concepts previously introduced into the discourse
Bridging
no direct antecedent for given information
make inferences that bridge two concepts together
takes longer than direct match
reinstating old information
direct antecedents do not require us to bridge
things in the foreground are easier to access
things in background require more mental power to recall
reinstatements increase comprehension time
identifying new topics of discourse
given/new strategy and direct matching if antecedent readily available
form bridges when we believe author intends for us to find relationship between
context and target if not explicitly stated
reinstatements likely to happen when we believe author forgot to create link between
target and context
all these strategies assume there is an antecedent or previous information
stage 3 of given/new strategy seeks to build on existing information
hierarchical structure, builds on what we know by adding new information
o Role of Working Memory
limited resources of working memory are allocated to processing certain tasks and to store the
results of these tasks
trade off between the two, cannot perform both satisfactorily if they both require a lot
of resources
working memory along with background knowledge of individual influences discourse
comprehension
the more background knowledge we have, the more information we have access to draw
inferences
Memory for Discourse
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