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ERIC Number: ED563272
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 140
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-0883-7
What Happened (and What Didn't): Prominence Promotes Representation of Salient Alternatives in Discourse
Fraundorf, Scott
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In five experiments, I investigated how readers and listeners generate relevant contrasts in comprehending and remembering discourse. Past work has suggested that prominent words promote encoding of salient alternatives and that this benefits later memory, but it is unclear exactly which alternatives are considered or how consistent these benefits are across modalities and across individuals. Participants read or listened to discourses containing salient alternatives (e.g., Malaysia when the discourse also mentioned "Indonesia"). In Experiments 1 and 2, font emphasis in the initial presentation facilitated participants' ability to later reject the salient alternatives but not unmentioned items (e.g., "Portuguese scientists"), generalizing past effects of contrastive pitch accents. In Experiment 3, font emphasis facilitated rejections of salient alternatives but not less plausible alternatives that were nevertheless mentioned in the discourse. Online reading time measures in Experiment 2 indicated that emphasized words did not improve performance on all trials and only benefited memory to the extent that participants devoted extra time to them, although no such relation was observed in Experiment 3. The relationship of online reading time to later memory is consistent with views of language processing in which some aspects of linguistic representations may be left underspecified because they are time- or resource-consuming to generate. Further, the effortful processing of an alternative impaired memory for the rest of the discourse in populations with more restricted online processing abilities: older adults (Experiment 4) and younger adults who have lower scores on complex span scores (Experiment 5). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A