Aspects of Literary Comprehension: A Cognitive Approach by Rolf A. Zwaan

By Rolf A. Zwaan

Given the truth that there are broadly kinds of textual content, it really is not going that each textual content is processed within the related means. it's assumed right here that for every textual content kind, informed readers have built a selected cognitive keep watch over method, which regulates the elemental operations of textual content comprehension. The booklet makes a speciality of the comprehension of literary texts, which contains particular cognitive innovations that permit the reader to reply flexibly to the indeterminacies of the literary studying scenario. The learn is based seriously on equipment and theoretical conceptions from cognitive psychology and provides the result of experiments performed with actual readers. the implications will not be in basic terms appropriate to analyze difficulties in literary concept, but additionally to the examine of discourse comprehension typically.

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The interactive model of reading is at present the most widely accepted model (or rather, class of models) of reading comprehension. Theoretical argumentation and a wealth of empirical data in favor of interac­ tion between levels of processing in reading have been put forth in psycholinguistics; cf. Marslen-Wilson and Tyler (1980), Flores ď Arcais and Schreuder (1983), Just and Carpenter (1987), in discourse analysis (cf. Van Dijk and Kintsch 1983; Graesser 1981), in reading research (cf. Lesgold and Perfetti FRAMING LITERARY COMPREHENSION 21 1981) and in the empirical study of literature (cf Svensson 1985; Meutsch 1987a; Harker 1989).

The basic feature of Rumelhart's sketch of an interactive model of reading is the message center. , it is a kind of short term memory. According to this view, reading is "the product of the simultaneous joint application of all the knowledge sources" (Rumelhart 1977:588). Rumelhart points out that his global framework assumes a highly interactive parallel processing system. In other words, all knowledge sources operate as soon as information from other levels is available; then they generate a hypo­ thesis and transfer it to the message center.

KvD supply several intuitive reasons why situation models are necessary to account for phenomena of discourse comprehension and memory. First, they acknowledge that a model of discourse comprehension should account for the referential aspect of language. The focus of the 1978 model was primarily on the "meaning" dimension. Situation models were introduced to fill this gap. Second, it is well known, especially in the case of literature, that there are individual differences in text comprehension.

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