Empirical Evidence for Narrative Structure *

Empirical Evidence for Narrative Structure * Three experimental tasks—spontaneous telling of a story, reading, and parsing the story—were used to determine whether empirical data reflect the narrative structure of stories and can be predicted by a plot unit analysis of the stories (Lehnert, 1981). It was found that spontaneous pause durations at sentence breaks were highly correlated with the importance of these breaks as predicted theoretically. Only low correlations were obtained, however, when reading pause durations were correlated with the model. As for parsing values, the value of the correlation coefficients depended on whether stories had sufficient superficial linguistic cues to help the subjects in parsing. It was concluded that spontaneous pausing not only reflects the narrative structure of stories, but can be used as a guide to constructing theories of narrative structure as well as for deciding between competing theories. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary Journal Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 1984 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
ISSN
0364-0213
eISSN
1551-6709
DOI
10.1207/s15516709cog0801_3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Three experimental tasks—spontaneous telling of a story, reading, and parsing the story—were used to determine whether empirical data reflect the narrative structure of stories and can be predicted by a plot unit analysis of the stories (Lehnert, 1981). It was found that spontaneous pause durations at sentence breaks were highly correlated with the importance of these breaks as predicted theoretically. Only low correlations were obtained, however, when reading pause durations were correlated with the model. As for parsing values, the value of the correlation coefficients depended on whether stories had sufficient superficial linguistic cues to help the subjects in parsing. It was concluded that spontaneous pausing not only reflects the narrative structure of stories, but can be used as a guide to constructing theories of narrative structure as well as for deciding between competing theories.

Journal

Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary JournalWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1984

References

  • An evaluation of story grammars
    Black, Black; Wilensky, Wilensky
  • Plot units and narrative summarizations
    Lehnert, Lehnert

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