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Chapter 7

Chapter 7

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Todd Ferretti

Psycholinguistics – Chapter 7  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 1 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 7  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 2 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 7 o comprehension and memory closely related  the better we understand, the more we remember o surface representations  remember exact words that we encounter  surface structure memory  surface or verbatim form of sentence is only stored in working memory until meaning is found, then taken out and replaced with next sentence  we can remember surface or verbatim form of sentence if sentences are distinctive and easily separable from rest of discourse o propositional representations  specifies meaning apart from the exact words  deep structure  number of propositions influences time to read a passage  we remember propositional structure, not verbal representation in our episodic memory o inferences and propositional representations  inferences are intrinsic to discourse structure  implicit propositions restore coherence when explicit propositions are not stated  ability to restore discourse requires knowing how to make connections as well as detecting when inferences need to be drawn  must see gap before we need to fill it  automatically draw inferences when  inference must be necessary to make text coherent  information which inference is based must be easily accessible (through explicit statement in text or general knowledge)  when we draw inferences, implicit and explicit propositions are stored alongside one another  explicit propositions have faster verification times if they're tested immediately  if delayed, no difference between explicit and implicit test as surface representation is lost as time passes o situation models  third memory representation of discourse including surface and propositional  represents the state of affairs that a text refers to  assumption that we construct a mental or situational model of the world as it's being described  subjects recalled objects located in the goal room faster than in the source room or path rooms  creating a spatial situation model of the rooms  farther the object was from final destination, the longer it took to recall  causal model  parts of text connect by causal relations o simultaneous investigations of all three levels  memory recognition is worst when it's only on surface, intermediate at propositional/surface level, best when it's differing on all three  situational memory shows very little loss as retention time grows  surface recognition is the worst, strong only immediately, and then falls to chance as time passes  Schemata and discourse processing o Schemata  schema  structure in semantic memory that specifies the general or expected arrangement of a body of information  when we encounter an event that is discrepant from our usual understanding, it is hard for us to fit it into our existing schemata
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