Contrastive Information Processing in Discourse Comprehension

  • Lee Jung-Mo (Department of Psychology, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Lee Jae-Ho (Department of Psychology, Keimyung University)
  • Published : 2005.06.01


A brief survey of linguistic studies on the nature of contrastive information in discourse was Presented first, and an attempt was also made to incorporate the Linguistic theories and concepts about contrast in discourse into a psychological framework. A tentative model of processing of contrastive information in discourse was Proposed, and eight experimental studies on the effects of contrastive information on comprehension and memory of short and ions discourses were reviewed. Experimental results showed that contrastive sentences took more time to process at encoding, and yet were recognized faster and cued-recalled in greater amount than noncontrastive sentences. It was also found that levels of contrast in the discourse structure have some effects on encoding time. It was further found that the sentence immediately following the contrastive sentence was processed slowly regardless of whether it does or does not resolve the contrast. The implications of the results of empirical studies were discussed in relation to developing a research framework that integrate coherence studies and contrast studies urns the two disciplines of linguistics and cognitive psychology.