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PSY 369: Psycholinguistics. Language Comprehension: Meaning beyond the word. Announcements. Homework 5 (a or b) deadline extended to April 5. Comprehension roadmap. This week: Comprehension of Sentence Meaning Traditional view: Propositions New view: Embodied representations

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psy 369 psycholinguistics

PSY 369: Psycholinguistics

Language Comprehension:

Meaning beyond the word

announcements
Announcements
  • Homework 5 (a or b) deadline extended to April 5
comprehension roadmap
Comprehension roadmap
  • This week:
    • Comprehension of Sentence Meaning
      • Traditional view: Propositions
      • New view: Embodied representations
    • Comprehension in Discourse
propositions
Propositions
  • How do we represent sentence meaning?
    • Propositions
      • Two or more concepts (arguments) with a relationship (relations) between them
        • Arguments – particular times, places, people, objects, etc. (nouns)
        • Relations - May be used for any kind (e.g., actions, attributes, positions, class memberships)
      • Smallest unit of knowledge that can be judged as true or false
      • Complex sentences consist of combinations of smaller propositional units
propositions1

mouse

agent

cat

patient

relation

bit

Propositions

A mouse bit a cat

bit (mouse, cat)

  • How do we represent sentence meaning?
    • Propositions
      • Two or more concepts with a relationship between them
  • Can represent this within a network framework
deriving propositions

Past

Eat

subject

subject

relation

relation

relation

time

Bread

Slow

Children

Cold

Deriving Propositions
  • More complex example:
    • Children who are slow eat bread that is cold
      • Slow children
      • Children eat bread
      • Bread is cold
evidence for propositions
Evidence for propositions
  • Bransford and Franks (1971, 1972)
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
evidence for propositions1
Evidence for propositions
  • Bransford and Franks (1971, 1972)
  • Study-Recognition Test Task
    • Read sets of sentences, answered a question about each, later presented sentences and asked whether they were new (not previously presented) or old (previously presented)

The girl broke the window on the porch. Broke what?

The hill was steep. What was?

The cat, running from the barking dog, jumped on the table. From what?

The tree was tall. Was what?

The old car climbed the hill. Did what?

The cat running from the dog jumped on the table. Where?

The girl who lives next door broke the window on the porch. Lives where?

evidence for propositions2
Evidence for propositions
  • Bransford and Franks (1971, 1972)
  • Study-Recognition Test Task

All of the sentence came from 4 complex sentences. The full complex sentences were not presented at study.

e.g., The girl who lives next door broke the large window on the porch

The girl lives next door.

The girl broke the window.

The window was on the porch.

The window was large.

evidence for propositions3
Evidence for propositions
  • Bransford and Franks (1971, 1972)
  • Study-Recognition Test Task

Test:

Old - same sentences that were presented at study

New - based on the propositions in the complex sentence, but not presented at study (including the full complex sentences)

Noncase- based on new propositions not based on the complex sentences (mixing of propositions across the different situations)

evidence for propositions4
Evidence for propositions
  • Bransford and Franks (1971, 1972)
  • Study-Recognition Test Task

Results:

  • False recognition of sentences that they were not previously presented with
  • Accurate rejections of noncases (different propositions)
  • Unable to distinguish between the old and new cases that came from the same complex sentences

Yes 5

Yes 4

new

Yes 3

old

Yes 2

Yes 1

Recognition confidence

0

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

No 5

fours

threes

twos

ones

noncases

# of propositions

evidence for propositions5
Evidence for propositions
  • Bransford and Franks (1971, 1972)
  • Study-Recognition Test Task

Conclusions:

  • Participants remembered the basic meaning (propositions)
  • Participants spontaneously combined the propositions into larger units

Yes 5

Yes 4

new

Yes 3

old

Yes 2

Yes 1

Recognition confidence

0

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

No 5

fours

threes

twos

ones

noncases

# of propositions

evidence for propositions6
Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)

Tested 3 hypotheses:

  • Sentences stored as single unit
  • Sentences stored as connected propositions
  • Sentences stored verbatim
evidence for propositions7
Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
  • Study-Recognition Test Task
    • Read sets of 4 unrelated sentences, then presented words (one at a time) and asked whether the words were in the preceding sentences
    • Dependent Measure: Priming - manipulated the order of the words at test

The mausoleum that enshrined the tsar overlooked the square.

The clutch failed to engage.

The beggar forgave injustice but resented hunger.

Satire hurt the incumbent.

hunger Y Saturn N square Y mausoleum Y beetle N

evidence for propositions8
Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
  • Involves two propositions:
    • P1 [OVERLOOK, MAUSOLEUM, SQUARE]
    • P2 [ENSHRINE, MAUSOLEUM, TSAR].

The mausoleum that enshrined the tsar overlooked the square.

The clutch failed to engage.

The beggar forgave injustice but resented hunger.

Satire hurt the incumbent.

evidence for propositions9

square

mausoleum

square

clutch

square

tsar

Within a single proposition

Between two propositions in the same sentence

Across sentences

Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
  • Predictions (if Hypothesis 2: propositions are the memory representation):
    • If prime word from the same sentence, then should respond faster
    • If prime word from the same proposition, then should respond faster than if from a different proposition (within the same sentence)

The mausoleum that enshrined the tsar overlooked the square.

The clutch failed to engage.

evidence for propositions10

**91 msec

**111 msec

Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
  • Predictions (if Hypothesis 2: propositions are the memory representation):
    • If prime word from the same sentence, then should respond faster
    • If prime word from the same proposition, then should respond faster than if from a different proposition (within the same sentence)
  • Results

671

580

560

square

mausoleum

square

clutch

square

tsar

Within a single proposition

Between two propositions in the same sentence

Across sentences

evidence for propositions11

**20 msec

Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
  • Predictions (if Hypothesis 2: propositions are the memory representation):
    • If prime word from the same sentence, then should respond faster
    • If prime word from the same proposition, then should respond faster than if from a different proposition (within the same sentence)
  • Results

671

580

560

square

mausoleum

square

clutch

square

tsar

Within a single proposition

Between two propositions in the same sentence

Across sentences

evidence for propositions12
Evidence for propositions
  • Ratcliff and McKoon (1978)
  • Predictions (if Hypothesis 2: propositions are the memory representation):
    • If prime word from the same sentence, then should respond faster
    • If prime word from the same proposition, then should respond faster than if from a different proposition (within the same sentence)
  • Conclusions
  • Support the hypothesis that propositions are used to organize our memories of sentences
inference in comprehension
Inference in comprehension
  • Not all propositions come from the bottom-up
    • Elaboration - integration of new information with information from long term memory
      • Memory for the new information improves as it is integrated
      • Inferences - a proposition (or other representation) drawn by the comprehender
        • From LTM, not directly from the input
inference in comprehension1
Inference in comprehension
  • Bransford, and colleagues (1972, 73)
  • We draw inferences in the course of understanding new events.
  • The inferences get encoded into our memory of the events.
    • e.g., drawing inferences of instruments
inference in comprehension2
Inference in comprehension

Saw (or heard):

John was trying to fix the birdhouse. He was looking for the nail when his father came out to watch him and to help him do the work.

  • Bransford, and colleagues (1972, 73)

Tested:

John was using the hammer to fix the birdhouse when his father came out to watch him and to help him do the work.

was not mentioned in the text, but was inferred

Result:

Participants falsely believed that they had heard this sentence

So memory is not only of propositions in the original sentence, but may also include additional propositions that may have been inferred

arguments against propositions
Arguments against propositions
  • Propositions are symbolic and amodal
    • Referential problem:
      • Disconnected with outside world (symbols referring to other symbols)
    • Implementation problem:
      • Has been very difficult to develop a propositional parser
    • Lack of scientific productivity:
      • More work on what you can do with propositions than is there evidence of the psychological reality of propositions
    • Lack of a biological foundation:
      • How do biological (or neurological) data constrain propositions
more than propositions
More than propositions
  • Barclay (1973)
  • Subjects are presented with sequences of sentences that create a spatial array, like:
    • The bear is to the left of the moose.
    • The moose is to the right of the lion.
    • The moose is to the left of the cow.
    • The lion is to the left of the bear.
  • Array: lion < bear < moose < cow
  • Subjects are asked either to remember the sentences or to remember the order
  • Afterwards, people asked to remember the array also ‘remember’ sentences they didn’t actually hear, such as:
    • The bear is to the left of the cow

(also faster to verify, Potts, 1974)

more than propositions1
More than propositions
  • Bransford, Barclay, and Franks (1972)

Hear: There is a tree with a box beside it, and a chair is on top of the box. The box is to the right of the tree. The tree is green and extremely tall.

(a): The tree is to the left of the chair.

(b): The chair is to the left of the tree.

Recognition Task Result: correctly rejected (b) but accepted (a)

mental models

Mental model

Mental Models

Hear: There is a tree with a box beside it, and a chair is on top of the box. The box is to the right of the tree. The tree is green and extremely tall.

  • These experiments suggested that contexts are not simply lists of propositions, but that these propositions are somehow ‘merged’ to create `world-like’ representations
    • Johnson-Laird (1983): While processing, humans construct representations of worlds/situations related (identical with?) those built from perception
embodiment in language
Embodiment in language
  • Embodied Representations
    • Many researchers assume that cognition is “embodied” (or “grounded”) rather than “abstract” (e.g., Barsalou, 2008)
      • Activates representations associated with the body and actions
    • Theoretical proposals from many disciplines
      • Linguistics: Lakoff, Langacker, Talmy
      • Neuroscience: Damasio, Edelman
      • Cognitive psychology: Barsalou, Gibbs, Glenberg, MacWhinney, Zwaan
      • Computer science: Steels, Feldman
embodiment in language1
Embodiment in language
  • Embodied Representations
    • Much of this work argues that language is embodied

(e.g., Barsalou, 2008; Glenberg, 2008; Zwaan & Taylor, 2006)

      • Perceptual and motor systems play a central role in language production and comprehension (and meaning/concepts)
  • Words and sentences are usually grounded to perceptual, motoric, and emotional experiences.
  • In absence of immediate sensory-motor referents, words and sentences refer to mental models or simulations of experience
embodiment in language2
Embodiment in language
  • Embodied Representations
  • Simulation hypothesis (Gallese, 2008)
  • Simulation exploits some of the same neural structures activated during performance, perception, imagining, memory…
    • Language gives us enough information to simulate
    • Processing (producing or comprehending) walk involves the use of representations involved in the act of walking

producing or comprehending “walk”

embodiment in language3
Embodiment in language
  • Evidence for Embodied Representations
  • Stanfied & Zwaan (2001)
  • Presented participants with sentences
  • John put the pencil in the cup.
  • John put the pencil in the drawer
  • See a picture and ask “does this describe what you read about?”
  • Results: faster at saying horizontal pencil with drawer and vertical pencil with cup
embodiment in language4
Embodiment in language
  • Evidence for Embodied Representations
  • Zwaan et al (2004)
  • Presented participants with a sentence
  • A: The pitcher hurled the softball at you.
  • B: You hurled the softball at the pitcher.
  • See two pictures and ask “are these pictures the same object”

B

A

  • Results: faster at saying ‘Yes’ when sentence matched the pictures (e.g., sentence A and pictures in A, if the ball is small and then gets big, it is coming towards you)
embodiment in language5
Embodiment in language
  • Evidence for Embodied Representations
  • Hauk et al (2004)
  • Do action words activate the motor cortex? fMRI study
  • 50 words from 3 semantic subcategories
  • (words matched for freq, length, imageability, etc.)
  • Rated for whether words reminded them of face, arm, or leg
  • Movement Comparison: moved their foot, finger, or tongue
embodiment in language6
Embodiment in language
  • Evidence for Embodied Representations
  • Hauk et al (2004)
  • Do action words activate the motor cortex? fMRI study
  • Action words did activate some of the same areas as the movements
summing up
Traditional

Cognition = Computation

Representation by propositions

Propositions are abstract relations

Embodiment of Meaning

Cognition is serving perception and actions

Representation = Patterns of possible bodily interactions with the world (lawfully related to the world)

What an object, event, sentence means for you, is what you can do with the object, event, sentence.

Summing up
summing up1
Summing up
  • The results of sentence comprehension are meaning representations
    • Some debate over what these representations are
    • Whatever they are, they get integrated with each other and with existing knowledge from LTM
discourse psycholinguistics
Discourse Psycholinguistics
  • Traditional Psycholinguistics
    • Determining what happens when we understand sentences
  • Broader View
    • How we resolve/understand sentences against the current discourse representation
      • Sentence comprehension is a process that anchors the interpretation of the sentence to the representation of the prior text
discourse psycholinguistics1
Discourse Psycholinguistics
  • Traditional Psycholinguistics
    • Determining what happens when we understand sentences
  • Broader View
    • How we resolve/understand sentences against the current discourse representation
      • Sentence comprehension is a process that anchors the interpretation of the sentence to the representation of the prior text
processing discourse
Processing Discourse
  • What is discourse?
    • The ways that we process (i.e., comprehend and remember) units of language larger than a sentence
      • Lectures, personal narratives, expository discourse
    • Units of analysis larger than a sentence
      • Applies to both spoken and written forms

Discourse processing is sort of like syntactic processing – a way of organizing/connecting the different pieces in to larger chunks. Here the chunks are larger than sentences.

slide39
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

slide40
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • To whom does “him” refer to?
slide41
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • To whom does “him” refer?

Bach

slide42
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • To whom does this “him” refer?
slide43
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • To whom does this “him” refer?

Bachagain

slide44
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • To whom does this “him” refer?

Bachagain

Why not Abe?

slide45
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • Huh!?
slide46
Bill and Ted traveled through time and space.

Bill asked, “Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store, but I haven’t found Abe yet. Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks!”

“Excellent! Man, we’ve got to get these dudes back to

school before we get there.”

  • Huh!?

Oh yeah, they’re time travelers.

characteristics of discourse
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Local Structure (microstructure):
    • The relationship between individual sentences
      • Cohesion
      • Coherence
  • Global Structure (macrostructure):
    • The relationship between the sentences and our knowledge of the world
characteristics of discourse1
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Local Structure (microstructure):
    • The relationship between individual sentences
      • Cohesion
      • Coherence
  • Global Structure (macrostructure):
    • The relationship between the sentences and our knowledge of the world
characteristics of discourse2
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Local Structure (microstructure):
    • The relationship between individual sentences
      • Cohesion
        • Does the discourse “stick together”?
        • Interpretation of one sentence depends on other sentences?
      • Coherence
        • Does the passage make sense?
        • Logical consistency and semantic continuity?
characteristics of discourse3
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Cohesion: Interpretation of one sentence depends on other sentences
    • Referential Cohesion
      • “Dude, you should hear him play…”
    • Substitution Cohesion
      • “We’ve got to get these dudes back to …”
    • And many more
      • Ellipsis, conjunction, lexical cohesion (See pg 160 of textbook for examples)
  • The relationship between the referring expression and the antecedentcreate referential cohesion of discourse
types of referential cohesion
Types of Referential Cohesion
  • Anaphoric Reference
    • Using an expression to refer back to something previously mentioned in discourse

“…Bach was in the music store …”

“Dude, you should hear him play, he rocks.”

  • Cataphoric Reference
    • Using an expression to refer forward to something that is coming up in discourse

Dude, did you find him?”

“Yeah, Bach was in the music store...”

comprehending anaphoric references
Comprehending Anaphoric References

Daneman and Carpenter (1980)

  • Task: Reading a passage and answer questions about the referents of pronouns

Sitting with Richie, Archie, Walter and the rest of my gang in the Grill yesterday, I began to feel uneasy. Robbie had put a dime in the juke box. It was blaring one of the latest “Rock and Roll” favorites. I was studying, in horror, the reactions of my friends to the music. I was especially perturbed by the expression on my best friend’s face. Wayne looked intense and was pounding the table furiously to the beat. Now, I like most of the things other teenage boys like. I like girls with soft blonde hair, girls with dark curly hair, in fact all girls. I like milkshakes, football games and beach parties. I like denim jeans, fancy T-shirts and sneakers. It is not that I dislike rock music but I think it is supposed to be fun and not taken too seriously. And here he was, “all shook up” and serious over the crazy music.

Question: Who was “all shook up” and serious over the music?

comprehending anaphoric references1
Comprehending Anaphoric References

Daneman and Carpenter (1980)

  • Task: Reading a passage and answer questions about the referents of pronouns

Sitting with Richie, Archie, Walter and the rest of my gang in the Grill yesterday, I began to feel uneasy. Robbie had put a dime in the juke box. It was blaring one of the latest “Rock and Roll” favorites. I was studying, in horror, the reactions of my friends to the music. I was especially perturbed by the expression on my best friend’s face. Wayne looked intense and was pounding the table furiously to the beat. Now, I like most of the things other teenage boys like. I like girls with soft blonde hair, girls with dark curly hair, in fact all girls. I like milkshakes, football games and beach parties. I like denim jeans, fancy T-shirts and sneakers. It is not that I dislike rock music but I think it is supposed to be fun and not taken too seriously. And here he was, “all shook up” and serious over the crazy music.

Question: Who was “all shook up” and serious over the music?

comprehending anaphoric references2
Comprehending Anaphoric References

Daneman and Carpenter (1980)

  • Reading Span Test
    • Smaller reading spans = smaller working memory capacity
  • Manipulated how many sentences intervened between the pronoun ‘he’ and the antecedent ‘Wayne’
  • Task: Reading a passage and answer questions about the referents of pronouns

Sitting with Richie, Archie, Walter and the rest of my gang in the Grill yesterday, I began to feel uneasy. Robbie had put a dime in the juke box. It was blaring one of the latest “Rock and Roll” favorites. I was studying, in horror, the reactions of my friends to the music. I was especially perturbed by the expression on my best friend’s face. Wayne looked intense and was pounding the table furiously to the beat. Now, I like most of the things other teenage boys like. I like girls with soft blonde hair, girls with dark curly hair, in fact all girls. I like milkshakes, football games and beach parties. I like denim jeans, fancy T-shirts and sneakers. It is not that I dislike rock music but I think it is supposed to be fun and not taken too seriously. And here he was, “all shook up” and serious over the crazy music.

Question: Who was “all shook up” and serious over the music?

comprehending anaphoric references3
Comprehending Anaphoric References

Daneman and Carpenter (1980)

  • Results
  • Conclusions: The number of intervening sentences don’t matter for high span people, but does for low span
characteristics of discourse4
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Coherence:
    • Given/new distinction
      • Readers expect speakers to provide cues as to what information is old (already known by the listener) and what is new (not known)
    • Making Inferences
      • Filling in missing pieces of information to maintain coherence
  • Haviland and Clark (1974)
  • Singer, Halldorson, Lear, & Andrusiak (1992)
developing coherence
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

  • Process of understanding a sentence in discourse context involves 3 stages:
    • Identify the given and new info in the current sentence
    • Find an antecedent in memory for the given information
    • Attach the new information to this spot in memory
developing coherence1
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence.
  • We got some beer out of the trunk. The beer was warm.
developing coherence2
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence.
  • We got some beer out of the trunk. The beer was warm.

Definite article “The” signals that “The beer” is given information

developing coherence3
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence.
  • We got some beer out of the trunk. The beer was warm.

Definite article “The” signals that “The beer” is given information

Connect the new information “was warm” to the appropriate discourse concept

“some beer”

This process is called Direct Matching

developing coherence4
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

World knowledge

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence.
  • We checked the picnic supplies. The beer was warm.

Definite article “The” signals that “The beer” is given information

Connect the new information “was warm” to the appropriate discourse concept

“??”

developing coherence5
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

World knowledge

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence.
  • We checked the picnic supplies. The beer was warm.

Definite article “The” signals that “The beer” is given information

Connect the new information “was warm” to the appropriate discourse concept

“picnic supplies”

Need a bridging inference to connect “the warm beer” to “picnic supplies”

developing coherence6
Developing coherence

Haviland and Clark (1974)

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence.
  • Conclusion: If you don’t know the old information and need to make an inference, this may slow down comprehension.

Typical results

  • Direct Matching
  • We got some beer out of the trunk. The beer was warm.

Comprehended faster

  • Bridging Inference
  • We checked the picnic supplies. The beer was warm.

Takes more time

World knowledge

developing coherence7
Developing coherence

“Murray poured water on the fire.”

“The fire went out.”

Singer, Halldorson, Lear, & Andrusiak (1992)

  • Task: Press a button when you understand the sentence, if given a question, answer Yes or No.
  • Conclusions:
    • Suggests that the bridging inference was made
    • More time consuming to make coherence of temporal than causal relations

Results

Causal condition

Requires

bridging inference

Faster reading time

T/F“water extinguishes fire”

Faster “T”

Temporal condition

No required

inference

“Murray drank a glass of water.”

“The fire went out.”

T/F“Does water extinguish fire?”

brief summary
Brief summary
  • Local Structure (microstructure):
    • Discourse is coherent if its elements are easily related.
    • Coherence is achieved with cohesive ties between sentences.
    • Comprehension is impeded when
      • There are no antecedents, forcing a bridging inference
      • The antecedent was not recent, forcing a reinstatement of the antecedent.
characteristics of discourse5
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Local Structure (microstructure):
    • The relationship between individual sentences
      • Coherence
      • Cohesion
  • Global Structure (macrostructure):
    • The relationship between the sentences and our knowledge of the world
characteristics of discourse6
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Global Structure (macrostructure):
  • The relationship between the sentences and our knowledge of the world

Jill bought a new sweater. Sweaters are sometimes made of wool. Wool production gives some farmers a good livelihood. Farming is a high-risk business. On the news last night, I saw a group of business executives discussing recent trends in the stock market.

  • Okay local structure, but each sentence isn’t relevant to an overall topic of discourse
characteristics of discourse7
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Read story to class (from Bartlett, 1932)
characteristics of discourse8
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Global Structure (macrostructure):
  • Schemas (Scripts)
    • General knowledge structures for common social situations
  • Genres
    • Narrative structure
      • Story grammars - extension of idea of grammatical rules, specify the organization of a story
    • Expository structure
      • Different structures
characteristics of discourse9
Characteristics of Discourse
  • Global Structure (macrostructure):
  • Schemas (Scripts)
    • General knowledge structures for common social situations
  • Genres
    • Narrative structure
      • Story grammars - extension of idea of grammatical rules, specify the organization of a story
    • Expository structure
      • Different structures
effects of world knowledge
Effects of world knowledge

If the balloons pooped, the sound would not be able to carry since everything would be too far away from the correct floor. A closed window would also prevent the sound from carrying since most buildings tend to be well insulated. Since the whole operation depends on a steady flow of electricity, a break in the middle of the wire would also cause problems. Of course the fellow could shout, but the human voice is not loud enough to carry that far. An additional problem is that a string could break on the instrument. Then there could be no accompaniment to the message. It is clear that the best situation would involve less distance. Then there would be fewer potential problems. With face to face contact, the least number of things could go wrong.

  • Bransford & Johnson (1972)
effects of world knowledge1
Effects of world knowledge

Rocky slowly got up from the mat, planning his escape. He hesitated a moment and thought. Things were not going well. What bothered him most was being held, especially since the charges against him had been weak. He considered his present situation. The lock that held him was strong but he thought he could break it. He knew, however, that his timing would have to be perfect.

Prison escape

OR Wrestling match

  • Anderson et al (1977)
effects of world knowledge2
Effects of world knowledge
  • Schemas (Scripts)
  • Mental structures of how the world works, acquired through experience
    • A whole package of information about what we know about the world and events
      • Generic story of situations
      • A framework with causal information
    • Used to facilitate comprehension of discourse, as well as to guide recall (and reconstruction)
effects of world knowledge3

Restaurant Script

Scene 4: Pay

Scene 1: Enter

Scene 2: Order

Scene 3: Eat

Go inside

Go to table

Sit down

Get menu

Read menu

Choose food

Give order

Get food

Eat food

Ask for check

Received check

Tip waiter

Pay check

Exit

Effects of world knowledge
  • Schemas (Scripts)
  • Generic story of situations
effects of world knowledge4
Effects of world knowledge

Bartlett (1932)

  • Task:
    • Read native American folk tale
    • Write down everything that you can remember from that story that I read earlier
    • Bartlett had them recall after a longer periods of time (between 15 mins. Up to 10 years later)
effects of world knowledge5
Effects of world knowledge

Bartlett (1932)

  • Results:
    • Participants’ memories changed to fit their existing beliefs (reconstructive memories)
      • Added new details
      • Changed details
      • Deleted details
  • Conclusions: We use our Schema to facilitate comprehension of discourse, as well as to guide recall (and reconstruction)
effects of world knowledge6
Effects of world knowledge

Invernizzi & Abouzeid (1995)

  • Read two European tales (cry wolf & stone soup)
  • 2 audiences
    • European North American children
    • Ponam children (New Guinea)
effects of world knowledge7
Effects of world knowledge

Invernizzi & Abouzeid (1995)

  • Retelling of boy who cried wolf
  • Ponam children (New Guinea)
    • Once upon a time Kalai and his family they lived on an island. Kalai’s mother always carried him everywhere. One day Kalai’s mother and father went out fishing. Kalai’s mother said, “Kalai, you are too small to go out fishing in the sea. You should stay home with your grandfather.” Kalai was lonely on the beach. Kalai said, “How could I get my family home?” He sat down and decided to get his family home. He got his red laplap and ran down to the beach and waved his laplap to his family and said, “Fire, fire.” His brother saw his laplap and went home. When they arrived they saw nothing.
effects of world knowledge8
Effects of world knowledge

Invernizzi & Abouzeid (1995)

  • Retelling of boy who cried wolf
  • European North American children
    • Kalai was running up and down the beach yelling “Fire, fire.” Everybody came home. The next day the same thing happened. They came home. The next day came, but the house caught on fire. He ran up and down the beach, but nobody came. Kalai kept waving the flag. Nobody came. Suddenly they saw the flames and the smoke and they came, but it was too late. Everything had burnt down to the ground, and his brother told him if he kept telling lies that nobody will come when you call for help.
effects of world knowledge9
Effects of world knowledge

Invernizzi & Abouzeid (1995)

  • Impact of different schemata
  • European North American children
    • Setting, precipitating events, goal reaching aspects, story resolutions
  • Ponam children (New Guinea)
    • Recalled factual detail about settings, events, and outcomes, but leaving out things like consequence, resolution, moral (generally seemed to miss the point)
  • Conclusions: We use our cultural schemas to facilitate comprehension of discourse, as well as to guide recall
effects of world knowledge10
Effects of world knowledge
  • When do we use the schema? During comprehension or recall?

Smith and Swinney (1992)

  • Task: presented stories (like the “balloons” one)
    • Collected sentence by sentence reading times
    • Had them recall the sentences
    • Some people were given a title for the story, others not
  • Results:
    • Overall, reading times were faster with a title that without
    • Stories with titles: More words were recalled and more “intrusions” (details consistent with the schema but not in the story)
  • Conclusions:
    • Schemas are used in both on-line comprehension and recall
effects of world knowledge11
Effects of world knowledge
  • Summary
  • We use schemas to
    • Facilitate the comprehension of discourse
    • To guide recall (and reconstruction)
effects of genre
Effects of Genre
  • Not all kinds of discourse follow the same structure
    • Different effects, purposes, etc.
      • Expository discourse
        • Convey info about a subject (e.g., textbook, lecture)
      • Narrative discourse
        • Tell a story: Introduce characters & settings, establish a goal, etc.
      • APA style
      • Newspaper articles
expository structure
Expository Structure
  • Reading texts, listening to lectures, etc.
    • Organized with different relationships (but can still draw a tree structure)
    • Relationships
      • Collection - ideas or events related on the basis of some commonality
      • Causation - ideas are joined causally so that one idea is identified as the antecedent and another as the consequence
      • Response - ideas are joined in a problem/solution or question/answer relationship
      • Comparison - ideas are related by pointing out similarities and differences
      • Description - general ideas are explained by giving attributes or other specific details
narrative structure
Narrative structure

Once there was a woman. She saw a tiger’s

cave. She wanted a tiger’s whisker. She put

food in front of the cave. The tiger came out.

She pulled out a whisker.

  • The story has a structure, a story grammar
narrative structure1

Setting

Episode

Event

Reaction

Goal

Overt Response

Action

Consequence

Event

Event

Narrative structure
  • Story grammar - can depict with a tree structure

Story

Once there was a woman.

She saw a tiger’s cave.

She wanted a tiger’s whisker.

She put food in front of the cave.

The tiger came out.

She pulled out a whisker.

narrative structure2

Read more

slowly but

are better

remembered.

  • High hierarchy statements
  • Lower in the hierarchy.
Narrative structure

Thorndyke (1977)

  • Level effect
  • Comprehensibility and recall were tied to inherent plot structure, independent of passage content

She wanted a tiger’s whisker.

The tiger came out.

characteristics of discourse10
Characteristics of Discourse

Trabasso & Suh (1993)

  • Test to see if structure effects whether inferences are made
  • Task: Think aloud task
    • Read through the story aloud (one sentence at a time) and talk aloud about their understanding of that sentence
slide89

How does this sentence connect up

with the rest of the story?

Sequential version

Hierarchical version

Once there was a girl named Betty.

One day, Betty found that her mother’s birthday was coming soon.

Betty really wanted to give her mother a present.

Betty went to the department store.

Trabasso & Suh (1993)

Betty found a pretty purse.

Betty bought the purse.

Her mother was very happy.

Betty found that everything was too expensive.

Betty could not buy anything.

Betty felt sorry.

Several days later, Betty saw her friend knitting.

Betty was good at knitting.

Betty decided to knit a sweater.

Betty selected a pattern from a magazine.

Betty followed the instructions in the article.

Finally, Betty finished a beautiful sweater.

Betty pressed the sweater.

Betty folded the sweater carefully.

Betty put it in the closet for the

next time she was going out.

Berry was very happy.

Betty gave the sweater to her mother.

Her mother was excited when she

saw the present.

slide90

Hierarchical version

S

Once there was a girl named Betty.

One day, Betty found that her mother’s birthday was coming soon.

Betty really wanted to give her mother a present.

Betty went to the department store.

Betty found that everything was too expensive.

Betty could not buy anything.

Betty felt sorry.

Several days later, Betty saw her friend knitting.

S

Betty was good at knitting.

Betty decided to knit a sweater.

Betty selected a pattern from a magazine.

Betty followed the instructions in the article.

Finally, Betty finished a beautiful sweater.

Betty pressed the sweater.

Betty folded the sweater carefully.

Betty gave the sweater to her mother.

Her mother was excited when she saw the present.

E

G

A

Trabasso & Suh (1993)

G

A

A

O

O

A

O

A

R

O

E

R

S = Setting

E = Event

R = Reaction

G = Goal

O = Overt Response

A = Action

slide91

Hierarchical version

S

Once there was a girl named Betty.

One day, Betty found that her mother’s birthday was coming soon.

Betty really wanted to give her mother a present.

Betty went to the department store.

Betty found that everything was too expensive.

Betty could not buy anything.

Betty felt sorry.

Several days later, Betty saw her friend knitting.

S

Betty was good at knitting.

Betty decided to knit a sweater.

Betty selected a pattern from a magazine.

Betty followed the instructions in the article.

Finally, Betty finished a beautiful sweater.

Betty pressed the sweater.

Betty folded the sweater carefully.

Betty gave the sweater to her mother.

Her mother was excited when she saw the present.

E

G

A

Trabasso & Suh (1993)

G

A

A

O

O

A

O

A

R

O

E

R

Is a superordinate goal that motivates the subgoal of the next episode

S

E

G

A

O

O

R

A

A

O

R

E

S

G

A

A

O

slide92

Sequential version

S

Once there was a girl named Betty.

One day, Betty found that her mother’s birthday was coming soon.

Betty really wanted to give her mother a present.

Betty went to the department store.

Betty found a pretty purse.

Betty bought the purse.

Her mother was very happy.

Several days later, Betty saw her friend knitting.

S

Betty was good at knitting.

Betty decided to knit a sweater.

Betty selected a pattern from a magazine.

Betty followed the instructions in the article.

Finally, Betty finished a beautiful sweater.

Betty pressed the sweater.

Betty folded the sweater carefully.

Betty put it in the closet for the next time she was going out.

Berry was very happy.

E

G

A

Trabasso & Suh (1993)

G

A

A

O

O

A

O

A

R

O

E

R

The goal is already filled, so not related to the subgoal of the next episode

S

E

G

A

O

O

R

E

S

G

A

A

O

A

A

O

slide93

Results

  • In a think aloud task
    • participants mentioned the superordinate goal in the hierarchical condition
    • but not the sequential condition
  • Story grammar structure matters
    • Strongly support the hypothesis that readers do make global causal connections during reading.

Trabasso & Suh (1993)

discourse in memory
Discourse in memory
  • Daily Summary:
    • Schemas are used to structure comprehension and memory
    • Discourses have internal structures that impact comprehension and memory
  • Weekly summary:
    • Evidence supports the psychological reality of a number of different representations
      • Propositions & propositional networks
      • Embodied representations
      • Inferences
      • Schemata and scripts
      • Situation models
discourse in memory1
Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch’s model
  • The Construction-Integration Model
  • Discourse occurs in a series of cycles
    • As each sentence comes in it gets integrated into the discourse
  • In each cycle
    • Construction phase - activate relevant concepts
    • Integration phase - keep only the most relevant elaborations
  • Multiple levels of representation formed
    • Surface form, textbase (propositional), situation model
discourse in memory2
Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch and colleagues (1990)

It was Friday night and Jack and Melissa were bored, so they decided to catch a movie. Jack scanned the newspaper. He saw that they could just make the nine o’clock showing of the hot new romantic comedy. Off they went.

  • Did this sentence occur in the paragraph?

Read before

Jack scanned the newspaper.

Jack looked through the newspaper.

Jack looked through the movie ads.

Jack looked over some editorials.

discourse in memory3

Surface form

S

N

VP

V

NP

Jack

scanned

the

newspaper

Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch’s model

Jack scanned the newspaper.

discourse in memory4

Surface form

Textbase

S

Examine

N

VP

Newspaper

V

NP

Jack

Jack

scanned

the

newspaper

Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch’s model

Jack scanned the newspaper.

discourse in memory5

Situational Model

Surface form

Textbase

S

Examine

N

VP

Newspaper

V

NP

Jack

Jack

scanned

the

newspaper

Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch’s model

Jack scanned the newspaper.

discourse in memory6

If Better

memory here

Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch and colleagues (1990)

It was Friday night and Jack and Melissa were bored, so they decided to catch a movie. Jack scanned the newspaper. He saw that they could just make the nine o’clock showing of the hot new romantic comedy. Off they went.

  • Did this sentence occur in the paragraph?

Read before

Jack scanned the newspaper.

Jack looked through the newspaper.

Jack looked through the movie ads.

Jack looked over some editorials.

Similar meaning

Evidence for

surface form

discourse in memory7

If Better

memory

here

Adds inference

Infers which section did he scan.

Discourse in memory
  • Kintsch and colleagues (1990)

It was Friday night and Jack and Melissa were bored, so they decided to catch a movie. Jack scanned the newspaper. He saw that they could just make the nine o’clock showing of the hot new romantic comedy. Off they went.

  • Did this sentence occur in the paragraph?

Read before

Jack scanned the newspaper.

Jack looked through the newspaper.

Jack looked through the movie ads.

Jack looked over some editorials.

Evidence for

Strong textbase

discourse in memory8

If Better

memory

here

consistent

Consistent with situation model.

Discourse in memory
  • Kintch and colleagues (1990)

It was Friday night and Jack and Melissa were bored, so they decided to catch a movie. Jack scanned the newspaper. He saw that they could just make the nine o’clock showing of the hot new romantic comedy. Off they went.

  • Did this sentence occur in the paragraph?

Jack scanned the newspaper.

Jack looked through the newspaper.

Jack looked through the movie ads.

Jack looked over some editorials.

inconsistent

Evidence for

Strong situation model

discourse in memory9
Discourse in memory
  • Kintch and colleagues (1990)
summary
Summary
  • Discourse processing is both complex and flexible
    • Multiple representations
    • Processing depends on context