ERIC Number: ED185871
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Expanding the Comparison Operation in Models of Language Comprehension. Acts of the Colloquium of the Swiss Interuniversity Commission for Applied Linguistics. CILA Bulletin, Number 30.
The study described here offers a model of target-context relations in language comprehension. It is based on the hypothesis that the same formal mechanisms that produce cohesion in discourse and texts are critically involved in language comprehension. The model posits that: (1) the comprehension of a target turn is primarily dependent on the formal relationship between the target turn and its context, (2) a discrete set of logical templates is part of the processing machinery, and (3) processing time for turns tied to context by different templates will not vary significantly. The structure of the model requires that a response to a target turn be processed along one of three paths: unit template to last turn (UT), topic only (TO), and no relationship to last turn or to topic (NN). The data were derived from the audio portion of 52 ten-minute conversations between a confederate and a naive subject. As predicted, processing time following (UT) target turns was significantly less than processing time following the other two types. The results support the hypothesis that humans can accomplish complex cross turn comparisons as quickly as tasks involving simpler comparisons. The accurate predictions of the model in a live conversational design contribute to the validity of models of language comprehension in general. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission Interuniversitaire Suisse de Linguistique Appliquee (Switzerland).