The principles of inference in discourse comprehension
A substantial research has been undertaken to reveal the principles of inference in the course of discourse comprehension. The research bases upon a new approach to the inference as a dynamic, changeable, ecologically compatible phenomenon which involves not only the processing of semantic content of linguistic units comprising the discourse, but also depends upon, firstly, a human being as “a receiver”, who is capable of highlighting some part of semantic content and downplaying the other, thus, arbitrarily changing the focus of comprehension, and, secondly, a communicative situation, which interferes into a comprehender’s subjective selection of the most relevant semantic data to be included in the inference and, thus, either supports or, vice versa, interferes and transforms the senses intended in the discourse. An important emphasis is made on the anthropocentric nature of inference and its close link to the cognitive restoration of the environment hidden in the discourse. The virtual environment indirectly influences the discourse comprehension and makes an impact on the inference. The action of the identified inferential principles is illustrated on the examples of understanding of some short dialogues and pieces of literary writings and has been verified by an associative experiment that builds upon the subjects’ written, sensory and graphical feedback in the course of comprehending three small pieces of discourse.
Key words: anthropocentrism, comprehension, discourse, inference, principle, reasoning
Pages: 78 - 91