ERIC Number: ED037463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Sep
Aspects of Speech Comprehension by Children and Adults: Two Experimental Studies of the Comprehension of Sentences. Final Report.
Ammon, Paul R.
Fifth-grade and college students in two experiments listened to tape-recorded sentences and completed tests of immediate recall. The first experiment investigated the effect of a listener's expectations upon his understanding of a sentence. Sometimes the "most probable" answer was not congruent with the "correct" answer, suggesting that the listener's expectation of what was probable influenced the manner in which he interpreted the experimental sentence. The second experiment investigated the effects of varying the delay interval from .02 to 2.0 seconds between the sentence's presentation and the memory test. Subjects either responded to questions or repeated, from memory, the word following a specified word in a sentence. Results indicated that delay caused the listener to reconstruct the wording of a sentence from a deeper interpretation of it. The results of both experiments suggested that a listener formulates hypotheses about the underlying meaning of a sentence through an initial analysis of the sentence and his own expectations of what is likely to be said, and then tests the hypotheses against syntactic cues within the sentence. Because of the effect of his own expectations and the rapid loss of essential information about the sentence, the listener may misinterpret a completely plausible sentence. (LH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Berkeley.