NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED313696
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Interpretation and the Autonomy of Written Texts.
Olson, David R.
Textual meaning is not autonomous--not only do the meanings of texts change as contexts change but also the textual or sentence meanings change as cultural conventions change. A series of preliminary studies have established that children into the early school years believe that the speaker's intentions, especially when the speaker's belief is false, make their way to the listener even when there is no lexical means for conveying that intention. These studies indicate that children tend to conflate what a speaker means with what the utterance means. With age and schooling they come to see these two "meanings" as independent. Children come to revise their estimate of the meaning intention on the basis of the linguistic or sentence meaning. They begin to treat that textual meaning as autonomous. But what continues to be the case is that the basic distinctions required for literate interpretation continue to be useful for distinguishing between the properties of the text which are "taken as given" for any particular purpose and the set of construals or interpretations that can be made of that text. In learning to distinguish meanings from intentions, and thoughts from expressions, children take the first step on the path which proceeds from taking facts as given and then organizing those facts into some theoretical scheme. (Thirty-eight references and a table of data are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A