ERIC Number: ED142953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-May
Reference Count: 0
Linguistic Expectations and Memory Limitations in Reading.
Wisher, Robert A.
This paper discusses a study designed to evaluate the use of semantic and syntactic expectations in reading. Sixteen college-student subjects, measured for reading proficiency by the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, were divided equally into a fast-reading group (350-450 words per minute) and an average-speed reading group (200-275 words per minute). Subjects had approximately equal comprehension scores, and they were motivated by a payoff scheme to read three sets of 48 three-sentence stories as quickly as possible without loss in comprehension. The story sentences were structured and presented so that varying levels of semantic and syntactic expectation occurred. Results of the study show that fast college readers can use a semantic or a syntactic clue more or less independently of one another, while average college readers tend to combine the two sources of expectation. The paper suggests that trying to use both types of clues at the same time produces redundant information, thus wasting some of the already limited space in working memory. The report concludes by advocating an increased emphasis of clue-search characteristics in reading instruction. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (22nd, Miami Beach, Florida, May 1977)