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Discourse comprehension


Vonk,  Wietske
Other Research, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Noordman, L. G., & Vonk, W. (1998). Discourse comprehension. In A. D. Friederici (Ed.), Language comprehension: a biological perspective (pp. 229-262). Berlin: Springer.

The human language processor is conceived as a system that consists of several interrelated subsystems. Each subsystem performs a specific task in the complex process of language comprehension and production. A subsystem receives a particular input, performs certain specific operations on this input and yields a particular output. The subsystems can be characterized in terms of the transformations that relate the input representations to the output representations. An important issue in describing the language processing system is to identify the subsystems and to specify the relations between the subsystems. These relations can be conceived in two different ways. In one conception the subsystems are autonomous. They are related to each other only by the input-output channels. The operations in one subsystem are not affected by another system. The subsystems are modular, that is they are independent. In the other conception, the different subsystems influence each other. A subsystem affects the processes in another subsystem. In this conception there is an interaction between the subsystems.