• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What are the structures of discourse and what are the functions of these structures in the communicative context? This volume explains how and why discourse is organized at various levels. The multidisciplinary contributions illustrate that discourse analysis goes far beyond the linguistic answer of designing grammars and goes hand in hand with the study of their uses and functions in the social context. Comprehensive and accessible, the volume covers a huge variety of discourse genres, including written and spoken, and storytelling and argumentation. The chapters also illustrate the necessity to examine the mental processes of the language users: How do people go about producing, understanding and remembering text or talk? The book stresses that both discourse and its mental processing have a social basis and can only be fully understood in relation to social interaction.

Arthur C.GraesserMorton A.GernsbacherSusan R.Goldman

When people comprehend discourse, the speech or printed messages are not merely copied into their minds. Instead, the human mind actively constructs various types of cognitive representations (that is, codes, features, meanings, structured sets of elements) that interpret the linguistic input. These cognitive representations may incorporate words, syntax, sentential semantics, speech acts, dialogue patterns, rhetorical structures, pragmatics, real and imaginary worlds, and many other levels discussed in this volume. Each type of cognitive representation is functionally important during the processes of comprehending and producing text and talk.

During the last 25 years, cognitive psychologists have explored how the human mind represents the information in various types of cognitive representations. Cognitive psychologists have discovered that some of these cognitive representations are not equivalent ...

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