Discourse organization in the comprehension of temporal order in narrative texts

Ohtsuka, Keis and Brewer, William F (1992) Discourse organization in the comprehension of temporal order in narrative texts. Discourse Processes, 15. pp. 317-336. ISSN 0163-853X


We investigated the role of global discourse organization on the comprehension of temporal order in narrative. We proposed three principles of discourse organization: (a) the immediate integration principle--- new event should be integrated immediately with old information, (b) the consistency principle---a new event should be attached to a consistent locus, and (c) the isomorphism principle---discourse structure should match event structure. Five passages varying in discourse structure were presented auditorily, and the comprehension of the underlying event order was tested. Subjects' comprehension was best in the canonical passage. The backward, flashback, and embedded passages were significantly more difficult than the canonical passages. The flashforward passage was the most difficult. The results were interpreted as showing that the immediate integration principle is a strong component of comprehension of temporal order and that the isomorphism principle contributes to text comprehension, but to a lesser degree.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/751
DOI 10.1080/01638539209544815
Official URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01638539209544815
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords discourse organization, text comprehension, reading, temporal order, mental models, mental representation
Citations in Scopus 71 - View on Scopus
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