Prolegomena to Inferential Discourse Processing

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This book shows that in reading verbal texts human reasoning is responsible for the recognition and construction of different forms of organization. On the one hand, it spells out in what ways human thinking succeeds in recognizing the surface form of grammatical organization which is characteristic of discourse expression (termed ‘cohesion’). On the other hand, it makes clear which human reasoning processes are involved in the construction of the different levels of organization which are characteristic of text content (termed ‘coherence’). Much attention is devoted to the hierarchical relationships between cohesion and coherence. In line with these hierarchizing endeavors, this book also addresses the related problem of whether the reasoning processes involved in reading verbal texts are ranked in order of importance. This book lends much weight to the empirical control of its claims. It does not only consider the language processing activities of normals, but it also devotes a great deal of attention to the disordered language reception activities of schizophrenics and aphasics.

Subjects: Semantics; Syntax; Pragmatics; Discourse studies; Language disorders & speech pathology; Cognition and language

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