Language Comprehension as Structure Building
This research investigated the role of two structure building mechanisms in language comprehension. They are Suppression and Enhancement. The first series of experiments investigated the role of suppression in word understanding. The results demonstrated that the mechanism of suppression dampens the activation of the inappropriate meanings of ambiguous words; they do not decrease in activation simply because their activation is consumed by appropriate meanings or because they decay. A second series of experiments investigated the role of suppression in improving the accessibility of concepts marked by cataphoric devices. Cataphoric devices are counterparts to anaphoric devices: Anaphoric devices mark concepts that have been mentioned before, and cataphoric devices mark concepts that are likely to be mentioned again. The results demonstrated that when concepts are marked with cataphoric devices, like spoken stress and the indefinite this, they are better at suppressing the activation of other concepts, and they are more resistant to being suppressed by other concepts. A third series of experiments investigated the role of suppression and enhancement in adult comprehension skill. The results demonstrated that less-skilled comprehenders less-efficiently suppress the inappropriate meanings of ambiguous words, the incorrect forms of homophones, the typical-but-absent members of scenes, and words superimposed on pictures or pictures surrounding words. (SDW).
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The Advantage of First Mention
Is the Advantage lost when first and secondmentioned
Do comprehenders have greatest access to the substructure
Is the change in accessibility due to rehearsal cycles?
Do comprehenders represent clausal dependencies?
The Communicative Function
Does Referential Coherence facilitate mapping?
Do more explicit pronouns trigger suppression more powerfully?
What about other levels of anaphoric explicitness?
Do cataphoric devices improve their concepts
Are cataphorically marked concepts more resistant
Suppression and Enhancement
Individual Differences in Accessing
Does Causal Coherence facilitate mapping?
Do comprehenders quickly forget information after crossing
Why do comprehenders quickly forget the exact form
Do comprehenders build separate substructures to represent
Are inappropriate meanings mutually inhibited?
Does suppression dampen less relevant associations
How does an anaphors referent become most activated?
Why are concepts as activated before pronouns as after?
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According activated Advantage ambiguous words anaphors appeared appropriate ASHTRAY associations bars become beginning cataphoric clause cognitive coherence comprehended information concepts condition Consider constructed context delay demonstrate described developing display effect episode example experiment experimental explanation explicit faster Figure first-mentioned participants forget foundation Gernsbacher half hear hypothesis illustrates immediately inappropriate meanings inferences initial instance introduced John Journal language laying less less-skilled comprehenders linguistic Lisa longer mapping marked measured mechanism of suppression memory mental structures Mention nonreferents nouns objects occur phrases picture picture stories predicted presented processes pronouns reaction recently comprehended referential referents representations represented second-mentioned semantic sentence shift signal skill speakers spoken stories stressed Structure Building Framework subjects substructure suppression and enhancement syntactic Table tences test names test words third Tina tion topic trials trigger typically unrelated Verbal verbs versions versus written