ERIC Number: ED191015
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Discourse Context and Sentence Perception. Technical Report No. 176.
Tanenhaus, Michael K.; Seidenberg, Mark S.
Research into the influence of a context sentence on the processing of a subsequent sentence in spoken discourse examined two issues: (1) whether context influences the immediate processing and organization of a subsequent clause, and (2) whether listeners make certain types of context-based inferences prior to the end of a sentence. Three experiments were conducted involving a total of 98 college stuents. The first and second experiments demonstrated that clauses with pronouns become better processing units in contexts that provide a referential antecedent for the pronoun. The third experiment demonstrated that listeners begin to make inferences necessary to construct an antecedent for a definite noun phrase prior to the end of a clause or sentence. The results suggest that there is not an initial point in the comprehension process at which the listener's representation of what has been heard is restricted to information of the type provided by the context-independent description posited by most grammars. The findings further suggest that the initial processing and representation of a sentence in discourse may differ from those of the same sentence in isolation. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.