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SENTENCE, DISCOURSE

COMPREHENSION AND MEMORY


INTERNAL LEXICON
The Internal Lexicon
We know a word = we know its phonological,
morphological, syntactic,
and semantic attributes.
A words meaning includes both sense and
reference.
Sense = a words relationships with other
words.
Reference = the relationships between a word
and an object or event in the
world.
Internal lexicon = The organization of word
knowledge in permanent
memory.
Lexical access = The process by which we
activate our word knowledge.
# D I M E N S I O N S O F W O R D
K N O W L E D G E

1. Phonological Knowledge.
2. Syntactic Knowledge.
3. Morphological Knowledge.
4. Semantic Knowledge.
Phonological Knowledge

The phonological structure = pronunciation of


words.
Homophones = words that are spelled
differently but sound alike
(such as bare and bear)
Syntactic Knowledge

The syntactic category = part of speech.

Example:
The aging pianist stunned the audience.

We can replace aging with any number of words,


such as wealthy, poor, fat, solemn, and so on.
Morphological Knowledge

Morphemes = free morphemes and bound


morphemes (attached to free morphemes to create
new words).
Bound morphemes = Inflectional morphemes
(involved when a bound morpheme is added to a free
morpheme to express grammatical contrasts in
sentences) and Derivational morphemes (involved
when bound morphemes, added to free morphemes,
create new words).
Inflectional morphemes.
(Example) : cat/cats, jump/jumped).
Derivational morphemes.
(Example) : good (an adjective)/ goodness (a
noun).
Semantic Knowledge

What is meaning?
What is it that we know when we know the
meaning of a word?
How is that meaning represented mentally?
Synonymy = Two words or expressions mean the
same thing (Ex: fear and panic).
Coordination = Two words exist at the same level in
a hierarchy, Ex: cat and dog (animal).
Hypernymy = The relationship of superordination
within a hierarchy (Ex: bird = a hypernym of sparrow).
Hyponymy = The opposite of Hypernymy (Ex: sparrow = a
hyponym of bird.
Meronymy = The parts of an object referred to by a
word (Ex: back and legs are meronyms of chair).
Sentence Comprehension
Comprehending a sentence = involving attention to
syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic factors.

Example:
The actor thanked the audience.

The syntactic level = identifying the constituent or


phrase structure of the sentence.
> The actor as a noun phrase (NP), thanked as a verb (V), and
the audience as another NP.
The semantic level = identifying the semantic or thematic
roles played by various words in the sentence.
> Actor = the agent and audience = the recipient of the
action.
The pragmatic level = have some knowledge about the real-
world circumstances in which this sentence would make sense.
> For instance : describing the end of a play after an actor
has taken a bow.
Parsing = to assign elements of its surface
structure to linguistic categories.

* Incomplete or Inaccurate Representations.


Example:
While Anna dressed the baby played in the crib.
Figurative language = language that literally
means one thing but is taken to mean another.
Our memory for sentences is a mixture of the
meaning of the sentences, their wording, and
the inferences we draw at the time of
comprehension.
With careful attention, we can distinguish
between assertions and implications.
By focusing our attention on the exact form of
the sentences we hear, we can retain this form
for a long time.
Discourse Comprehension
Carlos arranged to take golf lessons from the local
professional. His dog, a cocker spaniel, was expecting
pups again. Andrea had the car washed for the big
wedding. She expected Carlos to help her move into
her new apartment.

In contrast, the following passage is much easier to


follow:

John bought a cake at the bake shop. The cake was


chocolate with white frosting, and it read Happy
Birthday, Joan in red letters. John was particularly
pleased with the lettering. He brought it over to
Gregs house, and together they worked on the rest of
the details.
* Coherence
Connected discourse is coherent if its
sentences can be related to one another.
* Cohesion
Essay and multiple-choice questions assess
different levels of comprehension McNamara
and Kintsch (1996).
Performance on multiple-choice tests =
better for high-coherence texts.
Low-coherence texts require more inferences
and that high-knowledge readers are better
able to generate appropriate inferences.
A good general strategy is to process the
passage in an active way.

To identify the main points if they are


highlighted or if other details are omitted =
easier.