Language Comprehension: Sentence and Discourse Processing

  • Carpenter P
  • Miyake A
  • Just M
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Abstract

Reviews recent findings on language comprehension (COM) and considers how these findings have aided the understanding of the organization of cognition. In examining sentence COM, lexical ambiguity, syntactic processing, working memory and sentence processing, individual and population differences, cross-linguistic studies, and conceptual combination and integration are discussed. In examining discourse COM, establishing coherence and algorithms in text COM are examined. Many accounts of sentence and text COM are converging on a common set of principles that underlie general cognitive mechanisms. One principle is that the representation of information is graded. Further, the mechanisms of spreading activation and suppression provide a gradedness of processing to accompany the gradedness of representation. Finally, limitations of cognitive resources can account for many individual differences and processing strategies in language COM. ((c) 1997 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Patricia A. Carpenter

  • Akira Miyake

  • Marcel Adam Just

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