Abstract: Coherence cues mapping during comprehension

GERNSBACHER, M. A. (1996). Coherence cues mapping during comprehension. In J. Costermans & M. Fayol (Eds.), Processing interclausal relationships in the production and comprehension of text (pp. 3-21). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

This chapter focuses on one of the central processes of structure building involved in text and discourse comprehensionÑthe cognitive process of map ping. According to the Structure Building Framework, once comprehenders have laid a foundation for their mental structures, they develop those structures using the cognitive process of mapping. I envision the cognitive process of mapping as similar to creating an object out of papier-mache. Each strip of papier-mache is attached to the developing object, augmenting it. Appendages can be built, layer by layer Comprehenders build mental structures in a similar way. Each piece of incoming information can be mapped onto a developing structure to augment it, and new substructures (like appendages) are built in the same way. What guides this mapping process? In this chapter, I suggest that comprehenders interpret various cues that the incoming information coheres with the previously comprehended information. Comprehenders interpret these cues as signals or instructions to map the incoming information onto the structure or substructure that they are currently developing. Comprehenders learn the cues of coherence through their experience with the world and their experience with language (Gemsbacher & Givon, 1995).