GERNSBACHER, M. A., TALLENT, K.A., & BOLLIGER, C.M. (1999). Disordered discourse in schizophrenia as described by the Structure Building Framework. Discourse Studies, 1, 355-372.
This paper reviews the phenomena of disordered discourse often manifested in schizophrenia. It argues that the Structure Building Framework, a model of the general cognitive processes and mechanisms underlying discourse, can be used to account for these phenomena. According to the Structure Building Framework, the goal of comprehension is to build coherent mental representations or structures. Building a mental structure involves several component subprocesses: laying a foundation, mapping relevant information onto that foundation, and shifting to initiate a new substructure. Building a mental structure also involves at least two general cognitive mechanisms: enhancement of relevant activation and suppression of irrelevant or inappropriate activation. We suggest that schizophrenics who exhibit verbose disordered discourse have inefficient suppression mechanisms, are impaired in laying a foundation, and tend to shift too often. We also speculate that schizophrenics who exhibit impoverished disordered discourse have inefficient enhancement mechanisms and are impaired with the cognitive process of mapping.